Before you jump headfirst into creating a prenuptial agreement, there are a few important things you should know. People make many assumptions about prenups without fully understanding the ‘why’ or the ‘how.’ At HelloPrenup we believe that information and knowledge are key to a successful prenup experience. So, here are three facts about prenups that you probably didn’t know… but should!
Prenups Protect Both Spouses
Many people assume that having a prenuptial agreement is a power play by the wealthier spouse. NOT TRUE! This is definitely not the case. Prenups of the “olden days” may have been viewed that way, but modern prenups protect both spouses’ interests.
For example, let’s say that two individuals are working adults who get married and later have children. Their prenup may state that one spouse will provide spousal support for the other if family obligations interrupt their career. The prenup can dictate how long this support will continue, what the amount will be, and define other support limits that both parties agree to.
Prenups Are Romantic
Yes, a couple can use a prenup to settle financial matters between spouses should a divorce occur. However, that’s not what it’s ALL about! A prenuptial agreement can do more than that. A prenup can lay out the roles and responsibilities for each spouse throughout the marriage.
For example, a prenup can allow couples to agree on setting up a joint bank account that both partners use to pay shared expenses. At the same time, the agreement can allow each spouse to save some of their own individual income that will be considered theirs alone.
Some people believe that a prenup creates a cold dynamic in a marriage because a contract feels so formal. We disagree! A prenup can help couples develop a stronger sense of trust because they know what to expect from the other person. In the long term, this improves marriages.
Creating a prenup requires you and your fiance to have necessary conversations, especially ones you may have skipped altogether otherwise. Having your finances organized and discussed in advance will allow you and your fiance to get on the same page. The agreement terms make everything more transparent and preempt any unforeseen bumps in the road.
Prenups Aren’t Only For The Rich And Famous
We all know that a happy marriage isn’t tied to how much money you have in your bank account. All couples must have open and honest conversations to know they’re on the same page. So, it follows that no matter how little or how much money you have or assets you possess, you should be having important financial discussions with your spouse.
Prenups may be synonymous with names like Kimye and Brangelina, but we promise they are most valuable for the rest of us, who may have moderate income, assets, potential inheritance and perhaps a business.
The reason a prenup is so important, is that it sets forth terms that can protect assets that either party has now or may acquire in the future. Here are a few reasons that you may consider a prenup:
- Outline financial arrangements: You and your fiance may want to know what will happen to your personal and marital property during the marriage or if the marriage ends in divorce. We know your marriage will last- but hear us out – 50% of marriages end in divorce. So, having these terms agreed upon beforehand can make for a smoother transition should your marriage fail.
- Protection from each other’s debt: A prenuptial agreement can protect spouses from being responsible for the other’s obligations in the event of a divroce. For example, without a prenuptial agreement, if you divorce in the future, a judge may decide that debt must be split down the middle, disproportionately, or partially, even when one of you was not individually responsible for that debt. With a prenup in place, you are helping to avoid this unnerving financial disaster.
In sum, prenups have become an easy way for partners to figure out the allocation of property, finances, and responsibility without going back and forth between lawyers. We know we sound like a broken record here, but all engaged couples should consider the benefits of a prenup before tying the knot!
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].