It is likely that you have witnessed people you know and love going through a divorce. Perhaps your own parents, friends or your business partner had to put life on hold while he or she sorted out property rights and divided assets. The lucky ones walked away with a satisfying settlement, but many probably spent months or years trying to rebuild their financial lives.
You don't want to go through that. In fact, you may have delayed marriage in the first place because of your fear of the messiness of a divorce. However, you may be interested to know that you can marry the love of your life and still protect yourself from much of the financial conflict of a potential divorce by drafting a prenuptial agreement.
Is a prenup right for you?
The words are scary to many couples preparing for marriage. You may have no idea how to begin a conversation with your beloved asking for a prenup without breaking the trust you share or raising questions of doubt.
One way you may approach the topic is by first understanding why a prenuptial agreement may help you and your partner. A prenuptial agreement may not be critical for everyone, but you may benefit from having one if you fit any of the following descriptions:
- You have considerably more assets than your partner.
- You own real estate.
- You have an inheritance to protect.
- You are a business owner.
Owning a business is a good reason for seeking a prenuptial agreement. This way, your business is safe from the division of marital assets. If the company is on the table during property division in a divorce, your ex may end up with the business in a settlement. A prenuptial agreement can protect you and any business partners from this possibility. Additionally, if it is a business you inherited, you certainly want to be able to pass it along to your own children.
One important way in which a prenuptial agreement can protect you is if your intended carries a lot of debt. You don't want to be responsible for that debt if the marriage should end, and a prenuptial agreement can outline how you intend to manage your finances to protect yourself from that liability.
On the other hand, perhaps you have some significant debt of your own. You can use this as a way to broach the subject of a prenuptial agreement with your intended by showing how the agreement can protect both of your rights and interests.
Learn about your options before your wedding. Alternatively, if you are already married and have concerns about the future, a post marital agreement may be a way of addressing these issues.