I Just Got Engaged – Do I Need a Prenup?
Prenups aren’t just for celebrities and millionaires. Any couple who brings personal or business assets into a marriage or who has children from a previous relationship should strongly consider having a prenuptial agreement.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements help avoid contentious divorces by getting couples to decide ahead of time how assets and debts will be dealt with if the marriage breaks down in the future.
You can use a prenuptial agreement to:
- protect the inheritance rights of your children from previous relationships;
- Protect your interest in a business;
- Prevent yourself from being responsible for your spouse’s debts if you later divorce; and
- Set the amount of spousal support that you will pay or receive if you get divorced.
What About My Will?
A prenuptial agreement should work cohesively with your estate plan. For example, if you plan to disinherit your spouse in your will and leave everything to your children, then you should make that decision clear in your prenuptial agreement as well.
You should also remember to sign a new will after you get married. Your new will should identify your spouse and reference the prenuptial agreement.
We’re In Love and Will Never Get Divorced … Why In the World Would I Sign a Prenup?
One of the biggest strains on married couples is disagreement over money. Having an honest discussion on the front-end of your relationship about financial expectations can help avoid later stress.
One way to get on the same page with your partner is to discuss future financial plans, such as inheritance rights, business succession, retirement, and debt repayment. All of these things can be negotiated to some degree or another in a prenuptial agreement. Some couples find that working out these issues ahead of time by signing a clear, thorough prenuptial agreement helps them avoid later confusion and disagreement and gets their marriage off to a healthy start.
Moreover, making decisions about your finances while you’re happy with your partner will be much easier than trying to make them when you’re in the emotional throes of a divorce.
If you’re already married it’s not too late to enter into an agreement with your spouse about how assets will be divided if your relationship doesn’t work out.
A postnuptial agreement can cover all the same topics as a prenuptial agreement – the only difference is that you sign it after you’re married.
An Attorney Can Help
Are you thinking about asking your partner to sign a prenuptial agreement before you get married? Has your fiancée presented you with a prenuptial agreement you aren’t sure about? Are you already married and think you might need a postnuptial agreement? The attorneys of Lewis, Lewis & Falkner are available to discuss your options with you. Call us today at 205-553-5353 to see how we can help.