Knowing whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement is a very personal decision that any couple preparing for marriage should consider. There are many pros and cons to a prenuptial agreement and, with every couple’s needs being different, these should be weighed carefully. Reviewing the pros and cons of prenuptial agreements can help you and your future spouse decide if one is right for you and if you should consult an attorney to get started.
Below are some of the pros and cons of prenuptial agreements. Many of these may apply to you or your partner, or both of you together. Keep reading to determine if a prenup is in your future:
Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement
· Documents each spouse's separate property to protect it as separate property.
· Supports your estate plan and avoiding court involvement to decide property distribution.
· Distinguishes between what is marital and what is community property.
· Documents and details any special arrangements between you and your spouse.
· Avoids extended court proceedings, which result in the time of expensive divorce attorneys.
· Reduces conflicts during a divorce.
· Establishes procedures and rules for issues that may arise in the future.
· Assigns debt to the appropriate spouse to avoid both spouses sharing debt liability.
Cons to a Prenuptial Agreement
· It's not romantic.
· The timing may not be right.
· There may be state laws that cover all of the issues you want to address, without a prenup.
· A prenup cannot include child support or child custody issues.
· A court can set aside any provisions it finds to be unfair or not in the interest of justice.
· A prenup cannot include personal preferences, such as who has what chores, where to spend the holidays, or what school the children should attend.
Many couples fear that bringing up the idea of a prenup could cause arguments in their relationship or cause them to call off the wedding. The opposite is more true than not, though. Most divorces become ugly because of financial matters and these are what prenuptial agreements were designed for. BY alleviating much of the stress and confusion about financial issues, a prenup can make a divorce much more amicable for both sides.
If you are getting married soon, consider speaking with your partner about a prenuptial agreement. It will create healthy communication and will protect your finances in the event of a divorce.
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