Signing a prenuptial agreement before marriage is often the last thing that a couple would preoccupy themselves with. Most of them have the tendency to think that just because they’re doing well as a couple right now, they’ll continue to be smooth sailing in the coming years. However, experts advise that in between the hustle and bustle of wedding preparations, it’s a prudent step for couples to actually consider having a prenuptial agreement done.
Contrary to popular belief, a prenup isn’t only for affluent couples. Even if you’re not a multi-millionaire with mansions all across the world, having a prenup done serves as financial protection for both you and your spouse. There could also be certain circumstances that can complicate your marriage and you may want to hire legal separation attorneys to help you address some issues with your spouse prior to contemplating divorce, all of which could warrant a prenuptial agreement.
That said, this article highlights the situations when you should get a prenup before saying “I do.”
- One Party Has Much To Lose In The Event Of A Divorce
Not all marriages have two parties coming together equally in terms of assets. Some are like Cinderella stories, where one is as rich as a prince or princess, while the other is still on their way towards making a name for themselves. In these instances, the wealthy party is usually part of a big family business or has inherited substantial family assets.
In this kind of situation, it’s wise to have a prenuptial agreement done. With a prenuptial agreement, the other party can come to terms that family inheritance won’t be part of the division of assets should a divorce occur.
- One Person Earns More Than The Other
In a marriage, one spouse might earn significantly higher than the other. In some cases, one spouse might be forced to give up their job to take care of the children, which puts their financial independence and career growth at a disadvantage.
In this kind of arrangement, a prenuptial agreement can help assure the other spouse that even if they had to stop working upon marriage, they’d still have assets or alimony should they divorce later on.
- Both Parties Are At A Disadvantage In A Divorce
When a couple is marrying for the first time during the latter stages of their life, they typically have a lot to lose in the event of a divorce. This kind of situation is often applicable to couples who focused more on their careers or other personal interests before they were ready to submit to marriage. Since they’re advanced in age, it’s possible that they’ve already individually acquired significant savings and assets in their lifetime. Usually, it’s best to keep both assets separate, so a prenuptial agreement would come in handy in the event a divorce happens.
- One Of The Parties Own A Business Before Marriage
When either one of the parties owns a business before marriage, it’s also wise to get a prenuptial agreement. Should the couple split, the business would not be affected, and the ex-spouse would have no legal claims to it. This can be especially beneficial to those who have built their business from scratch and have no intention of remaining business partners with an ex-spouse.
- One Of The Parties Has Been Married And Divorced Before
If you or your spouse has previously been married, a prenuptial agreement is also called for. This is but a practical step as no one could say for sure how long a marriage would last, as evidenced by the previous marriage either spouse has experienced. It’s good to be hopeful and in love, but never hesitate to prepare for the worst.
How Long Does It Take To Have A Prenup Done?
There are no hard-and-fast rule to follow about the duration of getting a prenup done. Generally, the more assets and liabilities there are, then the longer it’s going to take to finish as well.
Typically, family law lawyers recommend having a prenuptial agreement made at least six months before your wedding date.
What To Include In Your Prenup?
Now that you’re aware of the circumstances that’ll warrant you to get a prenup, it’s also worth discussing what should be included in that document.
A prenuptial agreement isn’t solely dedicated to the splitting of debts, and responsibilities and assets should the couple separate. It can also include matters relating to terms of life after the divorce, including lifestyle clauses.
Now that you’re enlightened about the complexities in life that can potentially warrant a prenup agreement, you’ll realize that asking for one isn’t such a bad idea after all. A potential spouse should even perceive this as a positive suggestion as it could be the beginning of open and honest conversations regarding finances and future decisions. Wealthy or not, it’s always good to iron out financial responsibilities, benefits and even liabilities in the event the marriage goes south.