Alright, so your partner just proposed to you, and you’re excited to begin the wedding planning process. You’ve dreamed of this moment for a long time. A dream wedding ceremony in Central Park, across from the person you love. Celebrating the love you share. But then, out of nowhere, your partner asks you to sit down so that you two can talk.
As you sit down and start talking to each other, your partner brings up a conversation about the two famous words… “prenuptial agreement.” EEEKKK. A PRENUP? Holy moly, where did that come from? You’re a little confused because you’ve never had this discussion before, and you’re not sure why your partner even wants to discuss this topic. I mean, come on, you do love and trust each other, right? And you are making a lifetime commitment, right? That dream wedding you’ve been planning is slowly falling away under the mountain of seemingly endless thoughts that are racing through your mind. Take a deep breath. You’re going to survive, and so can your relationship. Conversating about uncomfortable things such as a prenuptial agreement and finances is healthy for your relationship.
Things happen, couples grow apart, couples get angry, and unfortunately, sometimes couples get divorced. This means if you or your future spouse have a significant amount of assets before getting married, they need to be protected and vice versa. In no way does this mean that you don’t trust your partner, nor does it mean that your partner doesn’t trust you. Additionally, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other. Getting a prenup implies that you’re making a conscious decision to do what you feel is best for yourself. You see, if you don’t protect yourself, if a divorce were to occur, one of the parties can lose everything that they had, including things that they had before getting married.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement. This way, you can think about it and make an informed decision on whether a prenup is an appropriate thing for you and your partner. Remember, a prenuptial agreement is like a contract, and contracts are often used in daily activities such as on the job, joining the gym, buying a vehicle, etc. You get the point, right?
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a written legal contract between you and your partner that’s drafted up before you get married. Both parties must voluntarily enter into a prenuptial agreement; it is not valid if either party is coerced into signing it. Both parties are also obligated to disclose property and financial obligations fully.
The prenup can include things such as:
- Terms for spousal support or alimony
- Specific language about who’s going to be responsible for the particular debt that was incurred during the marriage
- Allocation of property for anything of value (a home, a business, or any investments)
- An expiration date for the prenup agreement, also known as a “sunset clause.”
List of Prenuptial Agreement Pros
# 1. Sets Clear Expectations Before Marriage
Honestly, divorce can become a living nightmare! However, you can reduce stress and confusion about how assets will be divided up by getting a prenup. It’s a part of the process already taken care of, which can help simplify things if a divorce happens.
# 2. Both Parties Must Disclose Their Finances Upfront
When establishing a prenup, both parties are required to share all of their financial information, including each party’s:
- bank information
- car loans
- mortgage titles
This allows couples to discuss how financials are divided up in the event of a separation, divorce, or other marital dissolutions.
# 3. A Prenup Can Protect Your Business
A prenuptial agreement could protect you during a divorce if you were a business owner before you got married.
List of Prenuptial Agreement Cons
# 1. You Have to Pay Legal Fees
Both parties need to seek their legal advice before signing a prenuptial agreement together. Your lawyer will educate you on the contract terms and how they will impact you, your family, and your assets if you get divorced. The downfall: Legal fees can be costly depending on factors such as where you live and the complexity of your circumstances.
# 2. A Prenup Can Feel Like a Business Deal
Some people believe that prenups ruin a marriage and kill the romance between couples. For this reason, it’s important to discuss a prenup before you begin wedding planning. Although it’s an uncomfortable conversation, you’ll be glad that it happened if you are ever going through a divorce.
# 3. The Prenup Terms Might Favor One Party Over the Other
Both parties need to have their own counsel to reduce the risk of one party being favored. One party’s circumstances or financial situation might change dramatically from the time the prenup was initially drafted. This is one reason why seeking legal advice is important.
Do You Need to Get a Prenup?
Ask yourself these questions to help you determine if you should inquire about getting a prenup:
- Does either party have a business or investments?
- Does either party have an inheritance?
- Does either party have children from a previous relationship or marriage?
- Does one party make more money than the other?
- Does either party have a large amount of debt?
- Does either party plan on staying home to care for children or family?
Getting a prenup is a mutual decision that has to be made between you and your partner. If you are thinking about a prenuptial agreement, it's important to compare the pros and cons and seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Once you’ve made a decision, let the wedding planning begin!
Happenings™ Ever After
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Based in Manhattan, Happenings™ founder Tom Noel would often take a walk through Central Park. In 2008, during one of his walks, he stopped to sit at one of his favorite spots in the Park, the Bethesda Fountain. It was here that he realized that the intrinsic beauty that surrounds us was not being fully harnessed. He also realized that not a single business provided the exclusiveness of an affordable and high-quality event planner. Determined to change this, Happenings™ was born.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice, and it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney.
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