Some people dismiss prenuptial agreements as a couple planning to fail in their marriage. In reality, creating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage or agreeing to terms in a postnuptial agreement during a marriage can protect the marriage and benefit the spouses, as well as protect you in the event of a divorce.
There are a number of reasons that you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement during your engagement as a way to protect yourself and your upcoming marriage.
Prenuptial agreements remove the contention from divorce
Contested divorces with angry spouses who can’t agree on terms can cost the couple a large amount of money. While you may not want to think about your marriage not working out, it is a statistical possibility.
What better time to set terms for the distribution of your personal assets and the hearing of parenting responsibilities for any children you may have than when you are on excellent terms? You will need more reasonable and willing to see each other’s perspectives as you negotiate.
The terms you set will allow you to divorce quickly and more cheaply if your marriage does encounter hardship later on. Additionally, having the specific terms for how you split your assets and debt in writing will remove the mystery around asset division that can sometimes be a personal motivator for divorce.
You can protect certain assets with a marital agreement
One common source of contention in a divorce is disagreement about what spouses should share and what isn’t part of the divorce. You can earmark certain assets, like your retirement account, as separate property as part of a prenuptial agreement, thereby preventing its division.
A prenuptial agreement helps you get on the same page with your spouse
Prenuptial agreements don’t necessarily just discuss how you want to protect or allocate assets but also your expectations for marriage. For example, you may be able to include clauses that protect you from infidelity or abuse by creating practical consequences for those marital misbehaviors.
You can even use your prenuptial agreements to discuss such basic marital needs as the distribution of household work and how you will split expenses. Shared expectations and mutual understanding prior to marriage can set you up for a successful and fulfilling long-term relationship.