When two people in love decide to tie the knot, they are signing up to blend both family and finances. Considering how big a step this is, some couples choose to create a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements, also known as “prenups,” help set legal boundaries and set forth the ground rules for the way the couple’s property and finances will be handled in the event of divorce.
Some people see prenuptial agreements as pessimistic because they acknowledge the possibility of marital failure, but many couples who choose prenups see them as very practical documents that help protect both partners no matter what the future may hold.
Who should have a prenup?
Any couple can create a prenuptial agreement, but there are certain conditions that make a prenup even more useful for some couples. For example, if one partner earns substantially more money than the other or has significant debt, a prenuptial agreement may be a good way to sort out asset division in event of divorce.
Second and subsequent marriages are also good candidates for prenuptial agreements. When remarrying, partners may be more likely to be entering the union with more assets, debts or financial obligations than in first marriages. When this is the case, a prenup can make sure assets are protected and debts are fairly distributed.
Further, a prenuptial agreement can even help protect the lesser-earning spouse in the event of divorce. A couple may be more level-headed when dividing assets before marriage than if the marriage were to end, and the couple may be more fair in ensuring the lesser-earning spouse is protected.
Couples can put just about anything they want in a prenuptial agreement, but there are some limits. Judges may question a prenup that seems severely unfair to one party or hints at coercion.
Fairness in Prenuptial Agreements
One of the concerns many people have about prenuptial agreements is that one person will manipulate or cheat the other by disenfranchising them in the agreement. Ideally, a prenuptial agreement is designed to protect both partners, and both partners enter into it after having discussed and reviewed the conditions.
It’s highly recommended that both partners have their own attorneys go over the agreements, and in the event of a divorce, a family law attorney can evaluate work with the prenuptial agreement when representing clients.