Perhaps you are getting ready to pop the big question or your wedding day is quickly approaching, and you are trying to determine if you need a prenuptial agreement. This is a decision you should make on fact rather than emotion. Of course, no one wants to think their marriage will end in divorce, especially if you are getting ready to marry the love of your life. But, a prenuptial agreement is a good way to ensure your protection. Prenup helps you to go into the relationship with fewer fears or reservations.
It is a popular misconception that prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, are only for the wealthy. Anyone who has personal assets, liabilities or property — or children from a previous marriage — should consider a prenup. You should consider these reasons for a prenup:
- How premarital asses, such as a business or real estate, are handled is addressed in the prenuptial agreement.
- A prenuptial agreement can address how income and property acquired during the course of the marriage is divided.
- Prenuptial agreements address the amount and duration of alimony following a divorce.
- This formal agreement can clarify the financial rights and responsibilities of each person during the marriage as well as the property distribution in the case of divorce or a death.
- Prenuptial agreements can provide some level of protection from each other’s debts.
Things a prenuptial agreement doesn’t cover
A prenuptial agreement cannot cover anything illegal, nor can it settle issues of child custody or child support. It is important to understand that a prenuptial agreement does not replace a well drafted will. Most prenuptial agreements should only cover financial issues. All non-financial matters, like household and child-care responsibilities, should be handled in other ways.
What to expect from a prenuptial agreement.
Most prenuptial agreements have a specific time table. For example, they tend to become effective on the day of the wedding and last indefinitely. Some provisions, such as alimony, may not go into effect until after a certain number of years have passed. Prenuptial agreements can also contain a provision that effectively causes the prenup to expire after a certain period of time.
It is important to discuss the possibility of a prenup well before the wedding. As unromantic as the subject is, it’s important to remember that finances are an integral part of the marriage partnership. Discussing these matters before you take your vows may prevent problems from developing down the road.
What do you need to create a prenuptial agreement?
Consider this checklist and have the right information on hand before you create your prenuptial agreement:
- A list of all assets, liabilities, and property that you own.
- An outline of your short-term and long-term financial plans. For example, you may be planning to sell a home or acquire a business.
- Identify your short-term and long-term financial goals, including retirement.
- Be completely honest in your analysis, so everything is out on the table.
After these issues have been outlined and you are comfortable with your decision, you are ready to prepare for the prenuptial agreement. Seeking legal assistance during the process is your best option for developing a solid agreement and will help to eliminate confusion as well as bring peace of mind through the process.
Need a prenuptial agreement? Get professional assistance you can trust with the Reeder Law Firm. Call (770) 475-2521 for a free consultation.