What is a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement between two fiancées who are engaged to be married and outlines property rights and financial arrangements that the parties agree to as a condition of getting married. So, a prenup allows a couple to circumvent their state’s default divorce law by deciding arrangements that work for and were decided by them.
It is important to remember that a prenup doesn’t go into effect until the parties get married. So, you cannot get a prenup if you don’t plan on getting married, and you cannot get a prenup after you get married.
Who should get a prenup?
Anyone who plans to get married should get a prenup! Dispute their reputation, prenups are not just for the wealthy, and they don’t just protect the wealthy. If you have any income or assets, or may accumulate income or assets in the future, you should be considering a prenup prior to marriage.
Prenups protect women, too.
Many women are afraid of prenups, because they have a reputation as being this document that protects the wealthier men in the relationship, leaving women with nothing in the event of a divorce.
This is not the case.
A prenup can protect women by allocating assets or funds to women throughout the marriage or in the event of a divorce, to help even the playing field. Prenups are a tool to achieve a more equitable financial picture in a marriage. If you’re interested in learning more about women, prenups and the wealth gap, check this out.
When is the best time to start the process?
ASAP! Timing is everything and the sooner you bring up your thoughts about a prenup, the better. We often recommend 3 to 6 months before your wedding date to get started on a prenup.
Why do you need to leave yourself enough time if HelloPrenup only takes about 90 minutes to complete? Let’s talk through it:
1. Your partner may need time to process the idea of a prenup;
2. You are definitely going to want to talk about the terms of the agreement (Take a look at this checklist for some ideas on what to discuss);
3. You need enough time to get together your financial schedule for full financial disclosure- this can be time consuming – think bank balances, values for your assets and inheritance; and
4. If you choose to hire attorneys, you need time – finding the right lawyer can take a week or two, along with the fact that whomever you hire may not be available immediately.
How do you bring it up?
Be honest. Talk about why you want a prenup – If you are afraid of divorce, say so. If you were a child of divorce and this has affected how you view marriage, say so. If you are afraid of facing financial ruin because you plan to stop working at some point, say so.
Make sure you are clear on what your reasons for wanting a prenup are, and choose to be vulnerable with your partner. You should be able to feel safe bringing up emotional topics with your partner from time to time, while keeping in mind that how you broach the subject is key.
Learn more about how to bring up the topic of a prenup, here.
A prenup is good for your marriage!
A prenup allows couples the opportunity to discuss topics that are fundamental to a successful marriage, but that so many people never talk about until it’s too late. This centers around finances.
Finances are a leading cause of divorce, and by disclosing income, assets, debt, expected inheritance, etc. you can really dig into your intentions for your marriage.
- If you are in debt — how is that debt going to be paid?
- How do you spend vs save and are you on the same page with how you should be spending and saving as a couple?
- What do you see for your future family, where do you want to live? and how do finances impact that?
- Is this a second marriage? If your partner has children from a previous marriage, they might be interested to learn that a prenup protects those children, too.