A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement or “prenup,” is a legal agreement between two individuals before they marry. The purpose of the prenup is to protect the interests of one or both individuals if the marriage ends in divorce.
There are many benefits of a prenuptial agreement if you:
- Own your home or other real estate property
- Possess a large number of assets, such as stocks or bonds
- Own your own business or professional practice
- Have children from a previous relationship or marriage
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
If any of the above applies to you, you should consider a prenuptial agreement before marrying. Though not overly-romantic, a prenup does a lot to protect you and your dependents.
In the case of divorce or death, your prenuptial agreement will protect:
- The property you owned going into the marriage
- The inheritance rights of any children from a previous relationship
- Any assets or funds owned prior to the marriage
- Your business or professional practice
In addition to protecting your financial interests, a prenup can:
- Help define what is considered separate property vs community property
- Reduce conflict and/or cost in the event of divorce
- Protect a spouse from the debts and liabilities of their partner
What are the Drawbacks to a Prenuptial Agreement?
While there are many benefits to a prenup, there may be a few drawbacks as well. Since a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract, it can make the marriage feel more like a business deal than something coming from the heart. Other drawbacks include:
- A prenup can create a feeling of a lack of trust between you and your partner.
- It is difficult to look at the prenup objectively, which can cause you to agree to something that is not in your best interest.
- It may not be necessary. Many state laws will provide the same protection as a prenuptial agreement.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?
If you think a prenuptial agreement may be the right step for you, speak with an experienced family law attorney, like Daniel Willems. Contact Daniel to request a consultation about your potential prenup!