Signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married could be perceived as wholly unromantic. But, with divorce rates in topping 60%, a prenup is a considerate and respectful way of entering a marriage with openness and honesty.
If you are thinking about a prenup but are on the matrimonial fence, then read on for everything you need to know about how a prenuptial agreement can help you through divorce.
What is a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement or ‘prenup’ is a legal contract signed by a couple who is about to be married. It is intended to outline ownership of your respective assets in the unfortunate event that your marriage should end in divorce. You could see it as a “who gets what” inventory, but prenups can be useful in a number of ways.
How can a prenup help your marriage?
Prenuptial Agreement critics say they are bad for a marriage because they put undue emphasis on protecting assets and personal interests of one spouse from the other spouse; that drawing up a contract is self-serving and counterproductive for setting the tone to embarking on marital life as a couple…together.
However, more and more people are realizing that prenups are a practical necessity, easing potential financial pressures and encouraging couples to be accountable for their financial futures. Want to learn more about wedding customs (and prenups) around the world?
Having open lines of communication is an essential facet for a flourishing marriage. In fact, research shows that the two biggest causes for marital breakdowns are monetary disputes and a lack of communication. So, if you are preparing to get married then you will certainly want to avoid these two pitfalls and give your marriage the highest chance of success.
Discussions about finances, property, and assets with respect to a marriage are often discouraged in current society, and considered unromantic, making it difficult for some to open up to their future spouse.
Prenuptial agreements can give you and your fiancé the opportunity to set aside time to discuss the financial aspects of your upcoming marriage. By ironing out any issues and setting down parameters and provisions, you may find that future discussions on difficult topics will be both easier and more rewarding. And, ya know, lead to a stronger and healthier relationship!
Outlining what is most important to you personally, and as a team with your partner, can offer an increased sense of security when embarking on your new life together as a married couple.
No couple gets engaged or hitched expecting the relationship to fail, but accounting for assets and setting out how they will be owned and managed while your relationship is thriving can psychologically provide comfort and encourage you to take strong, positive, and uplifting steps into your new future together.
In addition, if you have children from a previous relationship, a prenup contract enables you to allocate where your assets will go in the event of divorce or death. It is important to keep in mind that prenuptial agreements are not one-sided, and they should protect all of your loved ones.
Taking time to create a prenup with your fiancé can be a great way to build a solid foundation together before your wedding. It can also be a good way to reinforce your commitment to your marriage, especially if one of you has previously gone through a difficult divorce. Divorce can be scarring, and many couples who remarry o choose to make decisions around prenups differently the second time around. Regardless of your reasoning on why you chose to get a prenup, remember that both parties need to understand the terms and be comfortable with the agreement before signing. With the right attitude, a prenuptial agreement can pave the way for a successful, healthy, and long marriage. Read about the love languages and your prenup here.
How can a prenup facilitate the divorce process?
Okay, so the truth is that marriage is not just about love, romance, and fairytale endings. There is also a business side to marriage as you are entering into a financial union as well. And, 50% of marriages fail. So, we don’t want to get all negative here, but we need to also be realistic about the odds.
Having a prenup can be an invaluable asset to fall back on if your union, unfortunately, ends in divorce; and while there is no such thing as an easy or pain free end to a relationship, having a prenup can take some of the sting out of an already challenging time.
So, how can having a prenup be the key to a more peaceful divorce? What if it doesn’t work out?
- They aid negotiations
When going through a divorce, some couples may not be on speaking terms, making it the worst possible time to discuss the division and allocation of property and assets.
But these are foundational aspects of the divorce process, and they need to be done despite personal feelings. In instances where couples have opted against a prenuptial agreement, negative emotions, anger, and hurt can impact how decisions are made. So, it makes sense to have these conversations and make those choices when you are not emotionally distraught by the onslaught of divorce.
Having a prenup in place can enable couples to sidestep those difficult and nasty post-split conversations, leaving each party free to start healing, recovering, and rebuilding their individual lives.
- They provide protection
As the adage goes, “prepare and prevent, don’t repair and repent.” We get that it is difficult to think about the worst possible outcomes on the run-up to the happiest day of your life, but an effective prenup can safeguard you against an unnecessarily painful and expensive dissolution.
If your split is highly acrimonious, then it could become a flat-out, divorce court war zone. Where each couple is driven by spite and revenge instead of logic and fairness.
By having a solid and iron-clad prenup already in place, you can avoid the unnecessary mud-slinging and guarantee that you and your assets are protected. Not to mention, that a more simplified and streamlined divorce will save you tens of thousands in legal fees! So, a prenup can be the recipe for a cheaper, quicker, and less painful split.
- They offer peace of mind
We have all seen the news articles and salacious stories about gold diggers and fortune hunters! The sad reality is that there are people who embark on marriage simply to extort money through a profitable divorce.
Having a prenup in place can appease any concerns a person may have about their partner’s motive for marriage, especially if one party is significantly wealthier than the other.
There are lots of things in life that we invest in, hoping to never use, such as car insurance, home insurance, earthquake cover, and more. A prenuptial agreement is another such occurrence, something that you secure in the event of a disaster that you hope to never implement. You may not consciously think about what it provides, but subconsciously the agreement can offer you feelings of honesty, security, and protection for the life of your marriage. Are you in the beginning stages and thinking of getting a prenup? Read about the 5 things to remember when you bring up a prenup.
If you are newly engaged or planning your wedding, then why not contact us today to find out more about what a prenup can do for you.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].