Prenuptial agreements are a touchy subject amongst couples who are preparing to tie the knot. Many often assume that prenuptial agreements mean you expect a marriage to fail, but this is far from the reality of the situation. Prenuptial agreements exist to protect both parties in the event of a worst case scenario and, in this case, the worst case would be a divorce. It does not mean your future fate is sealed. We all prepare for the worst in many ways, for many different scenarios. It is simply the prudent thing to do and, though it might not seem romantic, having a prenuptial agreement in place can save you time, money, and heartache if you cannot make the marriage work.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts and require the signatures of both parties prior to marriage. This contract allows you and your future spouse to address property rights and expectations, including spousal support, should you two divorce in the future. As such, regardless if your state follows community property or equitable division laws, your contract will override these rules. The benefit, of course, is that you and your spouse will not have to haggle over marital assets since it will all be predetermined.
However, a prenuptial agreement cannot cover issues regarding children of the marriage, such as child custody or child support. If you decide to include these issues in your prenuptial agreement anyway, you risk rendering the entire agreement invalid, which means none of it will be enforced in court. Make sure your prenuptial agreement only addresses what can legally be enforced.
How Should I Decide?
Prenuptial agreements can be beneficial for anyone, not just multi-millionaires or individuals who own businesses. They can provide safeguards for anyone who might want to protect an asset or property that might be divided in a divorce. Consider a prenuptial agreement if:
- You were previously married and are bringing assets into the new marriage
- You have children from a previous relationship
- You earn a significantly higher income than your future spouse
- You own or are part of a family business
Even if none of these apply to you, it is still possible to reap some benefits from a prenuptial agreement. The best way to find out if this is the right decision for you and your future spouse is to consult with an attorney to review your financial situation. Going through the process of crafting a prenuptial agreement together might not seem romantic, but this can actually strengthen your bond as a couple, so do not hesitate to discuss it with your future spouse.
Columbia Family Law Attorney
If you are planning for your future marriage, you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect your interests in the event of a divorce. At the Masella Law Firm, P.A., we are ready to meet with you and your future spouse to discuss your concerns and review your options for creating a prenuptial agreement tailored to your unique needs and expectations.
Contact us at (803) 938-4952 to discuss your case.