Since the legalization of LGBTQ+ marriages in 2015, many couples throughout the country have happily tied the knot. However, before the “I do”, these partners face the same joys and challenges of wedding planning as any other couple. One of them being whether or not to get a prenup. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is signed before your vows are taken, as compared to a post-nup which is signed after the wedding.
Does a Prenup Put the Kibosh on Love?
Just because the couple is LGBTQ+ doesn’t change the stigma surrounding prenups. Just like in the straight community, many people have the perception that a prenup means the relationship is doomed (which isn’t true, FYI). These misbeliefs exist across the board, but they may be particularly strong in the LGBTQ+ community.
Sadly, when LGBTQ+ couples did obtain prenups, historically they weren’t honored in the same way as heterosexual couples’ agreements. The 2015 ruling of Obergefell v Hodges legalized gay marriage nationwide, before this, some states viewed LGBTQ+ prenups as invalid. One such state was Indiana, who because they didn’t recognize gay marriage at all, regardless of where the couple was married, refused to recognize their prenups too.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case; both your marriage and your prenup should be recognized in every state. Which is a great thing because prenups are designed to protect both parties in a marriage (not predict the relationships future, as social stigma would have us believe).
Regardless of the sexuality of the couple, a prenup works the same. A prenup is a legal document intended to help protect both parties in a marriage. It can be used to help designate assets, indicate fair spousal support, protect a family business, and so much more in the case of a divorce.
No matter what your situation, you and your partner can create a prenup that works for you. That is designed to reflect the terms that you and your partner agree on, taking the decision-making power out of the court’s hands.
Prenups Especially Matter for LGBTQ+
When compared to straight couples, LGBTQ+ couples may be less likely to divorce (Woohoo!). According to research done by the Williams Institute at the University of California, the divorce rate may be less in same-sex relationships.
But that doesn’t mean you’re home free. LGBTQ+ couples face unique challenges. There are the usual adversities that lead to a divorce, such as finances, infidelity, lack of commitment, incompatibility, and more.
However, LGBTQ+ partners may have to contend other circumstances. As much as we would like to put a nice, neat check next to the gay marriage rights box, there is still lots of grey area in the law. This makes it particularly important for same-sex couples to have legally sound prenuptial agreements. A prenup can help LGBTQ+ couples have more control over what happens in the event of a divorce despite lingering discrimination.
Furthermore, LGBTQ+ couples tend to marry later than same-sex couples, which often means they have had more time to accrue wealth and assets. Before the ruling of Obergefell v Hodges, a great number of couples had already been living together and sharing finances, properties, and liabilities. Many were likely waiting for gay marriage to be legalized in their state while others may have waited until after “coming out” to their friends and family. Both reasons could lead to a later marrying age and a longer period of shared wealth accrual before tying the knot. . The later you marry in life, the more likely you are to have more assets to protect. Younger couples are generally less concerned with prenups when compared to older couples.
Love is Love and a Prenup is a Prenup
Considering a prenuptial agreement offers so many benefits to every couple, regardless of who they love or how they identify.
Haters may tell you that a prenup is not romantic. They may tell you that a prenup means your relationship is destined to fail. However, smart couples choose prenups to help strengthen their relationship and protect against things that simply cannot be foreseen. LGBTQ+ couples, specifically, have the strong voice and power to help change the negative perceptions the public has surrounding prenups. Look how far the country has come in the acceptance of LGBTQ+ couples!
If you’re in an LGTBQ+ relationship and are looking for a prenup, check out HelloPrenup to learn more.
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]