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Thinking about a Prenup? Things to Consider

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These days, many couples considering marriage agree on prenups for protection against assets in the case of divorce. For some, prenups are simply protections against worst case scenarios. After all, in an era where an estimated one half of marriages end in divorce, why wouldn’t someone want to take precautions when things get ugly?

On the other hand, some couples disapprove of prenups because of the feeling that even the mere existence of one sets the couple up for failure. They might see a prenup as an easy way out of a marriage, designed to help dissolve the exact bonds that marriage is intended to solidify.

A decision to get a prenup isn’t always an easy choice. What follows are some important items to think about if you’re considering getting a prenup.

You May Not Actually Need a Prenup

Prenups exist to help protect assets that individuals bring into a marriage. This is why it makes sense for the person who comes from a wealthy family to have a prenup, or for the self-made millionaire who wants to protect her assets to ask her future husband to sign one. But if neither individual coming into the marriage have any significant assets, a prenup may not be necessary. If you are considering one but aren’t sure how much having one will help you, then speak to an attorney who can advise you on this matter.

Asking for a Prenup Could Damage Your Relationship

Some people have strong feelings about prenups, and it is important to truly understand your future spouse’s opinion on the subject before asking for one. Because people don’t always have strong education on the benefits of prenups, some people believe that a prenup is a contract to walk away from a marriage, leaving the other out in the cold. While it’s possible to create a prenup like this, this is a rarity, as a good prenup is fair in its understanding of each party’s contribution to the family structure. In any case, the prenup is subject to negotiations between the parties in the contract, and should be reviewed for fairness throughout the drafting process.

There May be a Silent Party Controlling the Prenup

One thing to keep in mind throughout the prenup party is who, really, is asking for it. When you ask for a prenup, are you asking because you want one or is there a larger family dynamic at play?

Where your request for a prenup is predicated upon your family’s requests, ask yourself if this is what you really want. If they are trying to protect their own assets from your future spouse, then there may be different trust structures that lead to the same results that won’t impact your marriage and can allow you to share resources as you please. Take these factors into consideration when deciding whether requesting a prenup is right for you.

A Prenup Doesn’t Automatically Prevent a Court Battle

A prenup is often designed to be an alternative to a difficult, drawn-out divorce in the courtroom. However, if a spouse signs a prenup but then, at the time of the divorce, deems it unfair, a court battle may ensure regardless.

If you have any questions about a potential prenup, Reese-Beisbier and associates can help.

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