Why to Consider a Prenup Before Marriage
"I do…under the condition you sign a prenup first."
Not the most romantic proposal, but with the divorce rate in America at about 50%, prenuptials are becoming a more and more common part of the wedding tradition.
Marriage binds couples together emotionally and financially. When a marriage goes sour it can be difficult to remember who owned what. During a marriage couples may earn different salaries or put unequal amounts of effort into the marriage, which can result in differing finances. For example, if one parent quits his or her job to raise a child that is a financial sacrifice made for the marriage.
Reasons for a Prenup
In the past prenups were more common with the rich and famous. Recently, the economy has shifted peoples' spending habits and their views on marriage. With budgets tighter people are more inclined to protect the assets they have worked hard for. Purposes for prenups vary — here are three of the top reasons:
- You have more money or earn more than your partner.
- You and your spouse share a business.
- You have less money or earn less than your partner.
There are many other reasons that people choose to go into marriage with prenuptial agreement in hand. Mainly, divorce is expensive in and of itself and it’s important to be able to protect whatever you can even if it is not much.
How to Draft a Prenup
The best thing to do when putting together a prenup is to hire separate lawyers to co-write the agreement. To save time and money, create a list of assets with your soon-to-be spouse and talk about what your expectations of each other are.
At a time of love and excitement, discussions of death and divorce can be a major drag. But having a prenup discussion can be the smartest financial decision you make as new married couple.