Of course, talking about a prenup isn’t on the top of your wedding planning to-do list, but it is something you should consider. According to the CDC, nearly 4 out of 10 marriages will end in divorce. If this doesn’t convince you to discuss prenups with your partner, here are three major reasons that might:
Protect your pre-marital assets
Undoubtedly, this is the most basic purpose of a prenup—protecting your pre-marital assets. Pre-marital assets are anything that you actually owned before the marriage. This includes real estate, businesses, bank accounts, cars, etc.
Don’t forget about inheritances and family gifts. Some states automatically guard inheritance and family gifts as pre-marital property in case of divorce, but if you don’t live in one of those states, a prenup can protect them.
Sidestep extensive court proceedings of a future divorce
Court proceedings in a divorce can go on for years. You can avoid getting stuck in divorce court limbo by having a prenup. Not only are divorce court proceedings mentally and physically exhausting, but they are expensive! You could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
Promotes open communication about family and financial planning
Typically, a basic prenup will include financial issues: identifying separate property, distributing debt, tax treatment, and spousal support. However, a prenup can also spark a conversation about your whole future, not just financial planning. For example, will you have life insurance? Will you allow your partner access to your bank account? How will you care for your children?
There are a few state courts that will uphold lifestyle clauses in a prenup. Lifestyle clauses dictate behavior of both partners in the marriage. For example, infidelity clauses, how to handle in-laws, weight gain of one partner (harsh!), roles in the household, etc. Fair warning: these clauses are notorious for not standing in court. Even so, discussing lifestyle clauses with your partner before marriage doesn’t sound like a bad idea.