Why a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement can be a sensitive issue. After all, marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment, so why have contingency plans? Well, even if your love is solid as a rock, many divorce attorneys say that everyone can benefit from a prenup.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
It is impossible to predict the future. Whether you enter a marriage with many or few assets, this could change. Judges and state laws vary. Would you really want to leave the future of your finances up to the decision of a judge? Every divorce is different. Even something like student loan debts can be considered a burden to be shared by both parties, while one party has a much greater income than the other. Specifying up front how assets, debts, and future earnings will be divided can remove some of the stress of uncertainty. Even if entering the marriage on relative even footing, a number of factors such as children can change the career trajectory of one party.
Creating a prenuptial agreement costs about half as much as the average engagement ring. While there are options to do it yourself, these agreements are generally thrown out by courts due to various legal requirements. To properly create a prenuptial agreement, each party needs his or her own lawyer to avoid ethical conflicts. Waiting til the last minute to create a prenuptial agreement can create needless pressure and stress. Some people even forego prenups altogether on the assumption they won’t get divorced, which one divorce attorney compares to not having car insurance and assuming you won’t have an accident.
Even if you are already married it is not too late. Post-nuptial agreements can be created at any time. As mentioned before, events that happen after marriage like raising children can create unforeseen circumstances for one or both parties that may affect a career. It is important to create security in preparation for all possibilities that may come from the nuptial arrangement.
Getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not translate any instability of your relationship. It’s just common sense.