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When Is A Prenuptial Agreement The Way To Go?

Most people have heard of prenuptial or premarital agreements but haven’t thought about their usefulness until a marriage is on the way. A friend or family member may ask, “Are you going to get a prenup?” Alternatively, you may realize you are enthusiastic about sharing a life with your chosen partner but not enthusiastic about sharing certain assets, for a variety of reasons.

People for whom prenuptial agreements make sense often fall into one of these categories:

  • They have widely divergent financial packages, including income and assets.
  • One or both spouses-to-be have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
  • One or both spouses-to-be have been married before; they know that marriages can fall apart despite the best of intentions.
  • One or both spouses have or hope to own and run a business — and to keep the business separate from the marriage.

These and other reasons are very good reasons for contemplating a prenuptial agreement. In a world in which women and men both have careers outside the home, prenuptial agreements are more widely accepted than they once were.

Can Preparing A Prenuptial Agreement Actually Improve Your Relationship?

Some critics of prenuptial agreements claim they are predictors of marital breakups. Proponents, however, say that a prenup can prompt a couple to have important conversations about money and expectations they will bring into a marriage. Since finances are one of the top areas of stress in marriages (along with sex and in-laws), it makes sense to agree before a marriage begins who will own what in case of a separation or divorce. A prenuptial agreement discussion will also typically include the topic of debts (like student loans, a mortgage and/or a car loan).

Some married couples become interested in creating postnuptial agreements for many of the same reasons. Perhaps they have had marital problems and are now reconciling — but want to take money out of their relationship as much as possible. Perhaps one is going to start a business and wants to protect the other spouse and business partners from any unintended consequences. These and other motives are good reasons to talk with an attorney about a postnup.

Don’t Think A Prenup Is About Divorce — It’s About Your Marriage And Your Life

No, a prenuptial agreement is about entering into a marriage with a clear understanding about intentions for property ownership during the marriage or in case of a separation or divorce. In some ways, prenuptial agreements may dovetail with wills and trusts. Talk to an experienced family law attorney to explore your options most likely to achieve your goals. To schedule a consultation, call 219-227-4259 or complete an online intake form.