Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
This question is a personal one, and no one can make the decision for you. What is right for one couple may not be right for you and your partner.
It’s important to educate yourself on the positive and negative aspects of a prenuptial agreement so you can make an informed decision on whether it’s the right step for you.
Why Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Those who opt for a prenuptial agreement are usually those who have financial assets to protect before a marriage. Some couples go into a marriage very young, and neither have any financial assets to speak of, so they may not think they require a prenuptial agreement.
Regardless of your unique circumstances, getting a premarital agreement can help couples avoid the main issues that cause others to get divorced in the first place: poor communication and financial disputes.
What Are the Positives of a Premarital Agreement?
Consider the following upsides to prenuptial agreements:
- Communication – Talking about finances early can help iron out these issues so financial arguments don’t pop up later in the marriage. Knowing who will pay for what and which property belongs to whom can be beneficial. This can also teach a couple how to communicate and compromise.
- Protecting Children – Not every person getting married is twenty-three years old and childless. Many have children, perhaps from a previous marriage, and they want to protect their children’s financial future. This doesn’t mean you’re planning for a divorce; it just means you’re putting your children’s interests first.
- Planning for the Future – Many prenuptial agreements are simply arrangements between spouses on how their financial assets will be managed and distributed. This can hold each spouse accountable for the family’s financial wellbeing.
What Are the Downsides?
Of course, there are some potential downsides:
- Planning for Divorce – The main reason people don’t want to get a prenuptial agreement is because they feel like they are setting the marriage up to fail. The thought of a prenuptial agreement is unromantic, and couples should share everything, shouldn’t they? This idea doesn’t really consider all marital situations, however.
- Timing – A prenuptial agreement is completed prior to a marriage, and as time changes, you may want the agreement to change, as well. The good news is that prenuptial agreements can be modified. Also, you can get postnuptial agreements, which are the same as premarital agreements, only they take place after you’re already married.
- The Court Decides – California courts can throw out a premarital agreement if the judge believes the agreement is unfair. States have laws on fair distribution of property and assets, as well as spousal support payments. If they believe the prenuptial agreement protects one party more than the other, they can set aside the agreement.
Call a Family Attorney Who Can Help with Your Prenuptial Agreement
Couples get prenuptial agreements for many reasons. If you’ve been thinking you might want a prenuptial agreement, that doesn’t mean the marriage is doomed to fail. A family attorney can help you decide whether a premarital agreement is right for you.