We know, we know, the idea of discussing how to handle the end of your marriage before it even begins isn’t appealing. But hear us out, there can be many pros to having this legally binding agreement in place, even though you hope to never need to use it. Prenuptials aren’t just for couples with a lot of money or income inequalities either, they can be a good idea for couples in any financial situation. This gives you the opportunity to lay all your financial cards on the table, make sure you and your partner are on the same page, and have a game plan moving forward.
Contrary to popular belief, even if you maintain separate “personal” bank accounts after your marriage, the law sees all assets as combined. So in the event of a separation, your spouse is entitled to half the amount in your personal account. A prenup gives you the opportunity to give stipulations to how you want to divide assets in the event of a divorce. If you’re getting married, we would hope that you’ve had open and honest financial discussions, but if you’ve failed to do so up until this point, planning out a prenup could be an eye-opening experience.
There are some pros to having a prenup -- obviously, or else no one would get them! Some of the biggest ones that we like to highlight are that if you’re coming into the relationship with family inheritance, you can write that in to be preserved if things turn south. If you’re coming into the marriage with children from previous marriages, you can ensure that they’re taken care of and protected. It also prevents a nasty battle over assets because most things will already be laid out.
People have a lot of negative thoughts and feelings towards prenuptials. For example, many see it as planning the end of a relationship before it begins, or that there’s a lack of trust between the couple. While it’s certainly not romantic and can definitely cause a bit of tension, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a lack of trust. If your partner wants a prenup, have an open discussion and understand that they want to make sure you are both covered if things go downhill.
If you do opt for a prenuptial, keep a few things in mind throughout the process. First off, make sure you hire separate legal counsel to ensure both parties are fairly represented in the discussions. Be honest and open in your discussions. Make sure you’re fully disclosing all relevant information and assets, if you fail to disclose or are found to have hidden assets in the process, the prenuptial can be voided. Make sure you come to an end result that you are both happy with. Just because you plan on never having to use the document doesn’t mean you should settle with something that’s unfair or not to your liking!