Divorce is at an all-time high in the United States, and couples are increasingly choosing to tie the knot later on in life—after they’ve accumulated property of some value. With these trends in mind, many couples are treating their nuptials more like a business partnership—with a practical understanding that the relationship may not last forever.
While this may not sound like the most romantic approach to marriage, planning strategically about the impacts of your legal partnership can be a smart move. Today we provide three reasons that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can be a good idea for any marriage:
- Get what’s yours. The division of property can be contentious issue in a divorce, and the decision could come down to a court order that may seem unfair to you. Whether you have a family heirloom with high sentimental or financial value, or you’re anticipating an inheritance from a relative, losing these in a divorce may be devastating. Defining who keeps what from the onset takes these questions off the table.
- Avoid inheriting your spouse’s financial problems. Normally when you get married, you inherit everything your spouse brought into the marriage—including their debt. This means that in the event of a divorce, you could be on the hook for financial obligations that you never thought were yours to begin with. Including a provision in your prenup that relinquishes you from financial responsibility for your spouse’s debt is a way to circumvent this problem.
- Look out for your children. A prenup is not only a way of protecting your own assets in the event of divorce, it can also protect your children. If you had children with another partner before you got married, you can specify in the prenup how your property should be divided to them.
No one can see into the future, and most people entering into marriage believe their relationship will last forever. Nonetheless, in the event of the worst-case scenario, planning for the unexpected can save you a world of anguish.