Should You and Your Partner Get a Prenup? 5 Considerations
The last thing you want to discuss with your partner while wedding planning is what to do in the event of a divorce. After all, you're planning a life together. No matter how wrong it may feel to get a prenup, it can someday offer you and your partner valuable protection.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract signed before two people get married. It allows a couple to control how their assets will be divided in case they get divorced.
Many avoid the topic of prenups, thinking it will cast a shadow over their marriage. However, up to 53% of first marriages end in divorce in the U.S., and that percentage only rises for second and subsequent marriages.
A prenup can do a lot beyond securing assets. It can ensure the center of your marriage is your relationship with your loved one, not the money or assets. It also urges couples to tackle complicated topics early on, leading to better trust and communication.
Things to Consider
Here are some situations where a couple would benefit greatly from a prenuptial agreement.
1. Previous Marriages
Those who have been married before know how financially taxing divorce can get. Some enlist the help of professionals like financial advisors to lay out monetary options, advise choices and save money.
Others also carry commitments like alimony and child support from their previous marriage. A prenup would safeguard their future partner from these responsibilities.
If you or your partner have children from previous marriages, a prenup can help you specify how your assets will be divided when you die. It's a great way to protect your children's rights to your property.
3. Existing Wealth
Couples usually sign prenups if one party is significantly wealthier than the other. People also sign one if both parties have their own significant assets.
For instance, if you owned a home before getting married, the court could consider it marital property once you get married. Without a prenup, it can be subject to division during divorce proceedings.
Some may worry a divorce will split the assets they want their children to receive, but a prenup can help protect you or your partner if any of your parents plan to pass down an inheritance. It can categorize inheritance as the property of the individual spouse rather than shared marital property.
Signing a prenup can be beneficial if you or your partner have student loans, mortgages or medical debt. It could protect the other party from any responsibility of paying for it.
Should You Get a Prenup?
As a couple, you might not need a prenup if you don't have any significant assets or your income is roughly the same. However, you can still sign one to ensure your interests are protected.
The decision is ultimately yours. Just remember — a prenup is a wise move that will save you a lot of trouble should the worst come to pass.