When it comes to planning a wedding, brides will spend countless hours fixating on minor details and ensuring that everything will be perfect for the big day. However, a majority of modern brides neglect to focus on a very important detail of wedding planning – a prenup. It is unlikely the thought of divorce will ever cross the mind of a blushing bride as she is trying on wedding dresses and addressing the invitations. Although couples do not get married with the intent of eventually divorcing, it is hard to ignore the fact that divorce has found a commonplace in modern society.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple prior to their marriage which details what will happen to their assets and financial obligations in the event of divorce or death. Once stigmatized as being a jinx on a marriage, a prenuptial agreement can more accurately be viewed as a kind of “insurance” to be used just in case something happens in the future.
Women have made strides to become just as educated and successful as their male counterparts. As a result, it is common for women to own businesses and to have acquired substantial assets prior to marriage. If you have an interest in a business or professional practice, a prenup may help to protect that asset from being split with your spouse in the event of divorce. Having a prenuptial agreement in place which details how your assets are to be distributed can decrease the future anxiety and costs that accompany litigation during divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are also ideal if you have already been through a divorce or have minor children from a previous relationship. In these situations, a prenup can establish educational trusts for your minor children or assist in estate planning by safeguarding your assets for your minor children. However, you cannot waive child support payments or provide for a custody determination of an unborn child in a prenuptial agreement.
Before drafting the prenuptial agreement, you must be completely honest and upfront with your spouse about your financial information, assets and debts. Many of the templates available online do not contain all of the legal requirements and can have severe financial ramifications if and when the time comes to enforce the agreement. The best practice is to each hire your own attorney to draft and negotiate the terms of the agreement to prevent the process from hindering your relationship and creating conflict between you and your future spouse.
Bringing up the idea of executing a prenup to your fiancé may be nerve-racking, but having an agreement in place can benefit your financial interests and those of your spouse. It’s important to remember that a prenuptial agreement has no influence on your romantic relationship and is not determinative of whether the marriage will end or not. It is easier to approach the topic if you think of it as insurance to protect your assets and interests – you may never have to use it, but you have it “just in case.”
If you need to speak to an experienced attorney regarding a prenup, trust the attorneys at Lake Norman Law Firm to guide you through it.