Prenuptial agreements hold a special place in the world of family law. They are contracts that people enter into willingly prior to marriage in the hopes of affirming their expectations for the marriage or avoiding conflict in the event of a divorce.
Once viewed as a sign of cynicism by many, prenuptial agreements are now widely viewed as a practical tool to be used by modern professionals or those with assets who wish to get married. With more blended families and marriages between two successful professionals comes an increased need for those getting married to protect their financial assets and independence from the legal complications of marriage.
Executing a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you don’t trust your fiance or that you intend for your marriage to fail. Instead, choosing to create a prenuptial agreement indicates mutual respect and a desire to create a foundation of trust and transparency in your relationship. If something does happen later on, a prenuptial agreement can make it easier for you to divorce amicably and with minimal expense.
Prenuptial agreements take the drama and mystery out of divorce
It would be impossible to estimate the number of divorces that occur in any given year because one or both of the spouses gets the idea that the grass is greener on the other side. They may not have any real issues with their marriage, but they have begun to romanticize the idea of living a divorced life.
From inaccurate tales of generous alimony to the excitement and social attention that a divorce can generate, it is possible for people to seek out a divorce as a means of spicing up their life with what they may view as the potential for a financial windfall.
By agreeing to specific terms for the division of your assets prior to marriage, you ensure that neither you nor your spouse has any financial incentive to filing for divorce. You also largely preclude any drama because the prenuptial agreement allows for uncontested divorce proceedings.
If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right
As with any legally binding contract, you want the prenuptial agreement you draft to be enforceable later in court. Instead of using cookie-cutter documents available on the internet, have an attorney draft a prenuptial agreement specific to your circumstances.
Both you and your spouse should have your own attorney review the document, and there should be provisions in the document that extend protections to both of you. Finally, reviewing the documents and potentially reaffirming it later in your marriage with a postnuptial agreement that looks at the changed circumstances of your life may be a good idea, even if your marriage shows no signs of turmoil.