9 Reasons All Couples Should Get a Prenup Before Marriage
When one hears the word “prenup,” the image of an affluent mogul and a youthful swimsuit model comes to mind. However, a prenuptial agreement should be given due consideration by ALL couples (regardless of income level) before they walk down the aisle! The reality today is that an abundance of marriages result in divorce, and if they do, there are assets to be appropriated. A prenup can save a lot of heartache and money. Here are nine reasons why all couples should get a prenuptial agreement before marriage:
1. Half of all marriages end in divorce
Unfortunately, divorce rates today persist at around fifty percent and many couples quote struggle over finances as the principal rationale for why they are divorcing. Everyone deserves to have their life savings/earnings protected. Although prenuptial agreements aren’t pleasant to consider, thinking financially and not emotionally, results in the preferred possible outcome and sets up a protected bedrock for your future as an independent single man/woman, in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement can secure each spouse’s premarital assets and financial interests.
2. Future alimony
In many states, there is a legal presumption that when a marriage has lasted for a certain amount of time, the spouses are compelled to support one another for life. Through a prenup, you can alter this legal standard, or bypass support altogether. Alimony talks can go back and forth from “You chose to stay home instead of working” versus “I gave up my career, so I could raise our child.” With spousal maintenance not up for dispute, a divorce is easier to settle.
3. Divorce is expensive
Not preparing for the possibility of divorce can cause financial ruin. Having a prenup ensures that the process will be as speedy and smooth as possible. Instead of spending months in a courtroom quarreling, a prenup simplifies the whole process. You can move on and start repairing your life much quicker. More importantly, prenups delineate the exact terms of the separation. There’s less disputes, less differentiating out who deserves what, and less frustration. Often times, feelings are hurt during a divorce, and without a prenup, a vengeful ex-spouse can try and seize everything. Furthermore, without a prenup, you could end up having to pay alimony and inheriting your former spouse’s debt!
4. Prenups provide freedom from other’s debts
If your spouse goes on a shopping spree and wracks up thousands of dollars in debt, it isn’t your responsibility to pay for it. A prenup properly drafted, allows for the spouse who has saved his or her money to not worry about paying debts which they didn’t incur. Many times in divorce proceedings, one discovers that debt was racked up that was heretofore unknown. With this protection in place, it becomes the responsibility of the person who has brought it upon themselves.
5. Ensures the marriage is really for the sake of marriage
Not all marriages are fairytales. Occasionally, men and women marry people for their money. A properly drafted prenup can make the idea of marrying someone, and then divorcing him or her for half their stuff, less probable. If you know you won’t get rich by marrying your spouse, then the only reason left to marry is because you love them.
6. You own a business
Business owners should get prenups in order to protect their company’s assets, or state that their spouse isn’t entitled to any increase in the value of the business that occurs during the marriage. Another possibility for a prenup is to establish an agreement which says that an ex-spouse would not get a share of the business in the case of divorce.
7. You want to protect your assets
The problem when couples get married without a prenup is that assets become so co-mingled that you can no longer ascertain what is yours, your spouse’s, and what is joint property. Sorting out co-mingled property is tedious, expensive, and difficult to prove in court.
If you have received, or expect to receive, a big inheritance and want to protect that money in the event of a divorce, a prenup is great idea. A prenup can be used to ensure that other types of assets, such as family antiques, artwork, or collectibles, remain yours (or your children’s’) if the marriage ends.
8. You have children from a previous relationship
Whether through death or divorce, second and third marriages are becoming more common. Sometimes re-marriages suffer because the children from the previous marriage(s) are mistrustful that the “newcomer” may take their inheritance. A prenup can alleviate this fear. Along with other estate planning documents, a prenup can ensure that your children from a previous relationship aren’t disinherited when you die. A prenup may further provide a supplementary layer of protection to alleviate confusion about which assets go to a spouse and which go to the children.
9. Abandoning a bad marriage
“It’s cheaper to keep her … or him” is an all too common phrase. People become so concerned over the possible financial ruin of a divorce that they will stay in a wretched, unhappy, loveless marriage for economic security. This not only makes both parties miserable, but can also have an enormously bad effect on their children. If a prenup is agreed upon, then the fear of financial ruin is no longer there. With that fear gone, both parties can leave a failed marriage before any more damage is done.
For more information on prenuptial agreements, contact The Law Offices Of Inna Vernikov, PLLC., located at 25 Broadway, 9th fl., New York, NY at (212) 729-3497, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.