The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Do Prenups Indicate a Lack of Faith in Your Relationship?
No! Though prenuptial agreements often get a bad rap as unromantic or as suggesting a lack of faith in your relationship, they can actually strengthen your bond. A thoughtfully drafted prenuptial agreement will be mutually beneficial and can help a couple begin their marriage with a strong foundation of understanding.
There is also the belief that the only people who need a prenuptial agreement are those who are already wealthy or who have inherited wealth they are looking to protect. This is not the case. In fact, many couples from all walks of life can benefit from establishing a prenup.
The following couples may benefit from a prenuptial agreement:
- When one party has significantly more wealth than the other
- When one or both parties have children from a previous relationship
- When one or both parties have debts accrued before the marriage
- When one or both parties have real estate and other property holdings that they want to keep as separate property
This is by no means an exhaustive list. To find out if you and your partner would benefit from a prenup, reach out to an experienced family law attorney like ours at Casey, Simmons & Byrant, PLLC.
When You Shouldn’t Sign a Prenup
There are a few distinct circumstances under which you should never sign a prenuptial agreement. The first one is when you are being coerced, pressured, or forced to sign an agreement that is detrimental to you or which you do not want to sign. Additionally, you should never sign a prenuptial agreement without discussing it with your own legal counsel first.
In general, it is recommended that you always secure your own legal representation to help you through the prenup process. Having your own attorney during the process can help ensure that your best interests are protected and that the prenuptial agreement is truly mutually beneficial.
The Benefits of Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement
When thinking about prenuptial agreements, it’s helpful to consider the perspective that everyone who gets legally married has a prenup, regardless of whether they drafted and signed their own. Indeed, if you don’t create your own prenuptial agreement, you have a de-facto prenup in your state’s divorce laws. Therefore, if you get divorced without a prenup, the state’s alimony and property division laws will guide how your marital property is divided, limiting the amount of control you have over the process.
Meanwhile, if you and your spouse have a legally valid prenuptial agreement on record, the courts will use that as their guide when making important decisions, such as how your assets and debts will be divided. With the greater control that a prenup affords, the divorce process as a whole may be smoother and less stressful. Below we discuss more benefits of establishing a prenuptial agreement. Keep reading to learn more.
Improved Communication Between Yourself & Your Future Spouse
In cases of divorce, the benefits of a prenup are pretty clear. However, couples who never divorce can also benefit from a prenuptial agreement. When disagreements over finances are often cited as a contributing factor in divorces, the more open a couple is before they marry, the better. The process of drafting a prenup involves full disclosure and transparency from both parties. It also encourages honesty between partners and allows them to get on the same page about their finances pre-marriage.
Protection from Debt
Another major benefit to establishing a prenuptial agreement is debt protection. With a prenup, you and your future spouse keep certain debts separate and individual. For example, suppose one person comes into the marriage with substantial credit card debt. In that case, they can agree in the prenup that this debt will remain separate property and the responsibility of the person who accrued it. In the event of a divorce or the death of one spouse, this can protect the other spouse from creditors.
Peace of Mind in the Event of a Spouse’s Death
As previously mentioned, prenuptial agreements aren’t only associated with divorce. In fact, they can help outline how property, assets, and debts are handled if one spouse passes away. This can be particularly helpful if one spouse comes to the marriage with children from a previous relationship and wants certain assets to pass directly to that child.
A prenuptial agreement can also outline a spouse’s property rights in the event of the other spouse’s death. In some cases, a prenuptial agreement can override the state’s inheritance laws, ensuring that your surviving spouse gets the designated property you want them to have.
Do you have questions about prenuptial agreements? Contact Casey, Simmons & Byrant, PLLC online to schedule a consultation. We are standing by to help you and your future spouse start your marriage on solid footing.