When we think of prenuptial agreements, we often think of the fabulously wealthy wishing to protect their assets. However, these agreements are not just for the wealthy. Although prenuptial agreements may be important for those with significant assets or debt, certain circumstances, including prior divorces and children from prior marriages, may justify the cost and effort of a prenup.
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a document that sets in place a legal contract for how assets shall be distributed in the case of divorce or a spouse’s death. The purpose of having couples prepare for the worst possible situation aims to save both parties involved in the relationship of emotional and financial distress.
Reasons to Get a Prenup
There are many reasons couples have chosen to get a prenuptial agreement, including having significant premarital assets or, for those who have been divorced, to save themselves for the challenges of divorce a second time. Here are just a few of the most common reasons we see couples choose a prenuptial agreement:
- Significant premarital assets.
- Significant ownership of a business.
- Children from previous marriages.
- Prior divorces.
- Significant premarital debt.
How to Get a Prenup
Before getting a prenuptial agreement, it is best to have an honest conversation with your future spouse to ensure both parties are in agreement. Having this talk before the wedding date is the first step to making this process a smooth one as it opens the conversation up to concerns from each side of the wedding party. Once both of you are in agreement, it is time to locate a trusted attorney and provide financial documentation. The prenup process from there can vary depending on the couple. Your attorney will also help you determine if a prenup is the best course of action and discuss alternative options.
Alternatives to a Prenup
There are several alternatives to prenups that, while less common, help couples prepare for their financial future. For example, postnuptial agreements have become more popular over the last several years. Postnuptial agreements may be useful to reflect changed circumstances if a couple experiences a change in finances or have material issues. These agreements address and establish plans in case of divorce, separation or death just as prenuptial agreements do. Other popular alternatives are mutual estate planning and relying on the laws in the couple’s state of residence. The body of laws put in place to govern divorce are fairly simple, and, in most cases, couples going through these are being further educated on what happens in the event of divorce.
If you and your partner believe you need a prenuptial agreement or would like to explore your options, the attorneys at Holman Law Firm are here to help you. Together we will work out the best course of action, and, based on what is decided upon, we will begin to file the appropriate paperwork to ensure your wishes are carried out.