Statistics say that about half of all US couples divorce, but we’re all convinced it won’t happen to us. It’s part of the reason why so many of us don’t get prenups. The fact is, most couples should consider creating such an agreement. Here’s why.
Even if you aren’t rich, you probably have possessions you very much value. This in and of itself is a good reason for a prenup. You don’t want to lose Grandma’s Civil War collection because of a divorce. It doesn’t seem possible when you’re just starting out, but it’s certainly not unheard of for a divorcing spouse to try to get control of marital property simply to be vindictive. A prenup can ensure that all of your valued family heirlooms stay with you.
But prenups aren’t just about getting down in writing what to do with property you bring into a marriage. Prenups often outline how couples will share expenses, whether one of the spouses will stay home with the kids, and whether bank accounts will be joint or separate. Who will pay for what? What if one spouse wants to go back to school? Should money be set aside for savings? And what about money for kids? Prenups are especially helpful if you already have children; as you probably want to ensure that in the case of a divorce your children will get your estate, not your ex-spouse.
Prenups can also be used to specify alimony payments in the case of a divorce. It’s helpful to get these kinds of things in writing when both partners are thinking clearly and not carried away by the emotions a divorce usually creates.
The issues that need to be hammered out for a prenup are the same issues that any couple getting married should discuss and agree on. People are typically uncomfortable talking about money issues, however, and surprisingly often finances aren’t discussed at all before a marriage. A prenup is an opportunity to get the subject out in the open. It can be quite revealing to have a conversation about a prenup; it’s not unusual for a couple to find they have completely different expectations, and this is the kind of thing that’s better discussed and resolved before the wedding.
Questions or comments? Want help creating a prenuptial agreement? Please contact me today to learn more!