A prenuptial agreement is a contract agreed upon before two people enter into a marriage. By tradition, such a premarital arrangement defines the outcome of any property or other assets that either individual brings into the marriage in addition to what they procure together. So why should you get a prenup?
It is a sad reality of modern times that financial obligations are usually a major contributor to the termination of a marriage. Having a prenup makes the process of dissolving the marriage just a little more civil and easier. More important however is the fact that a prenup allows you to openly and honestly discuss the tricky issues which may later become points of contention. Doing this at the time when you most understand each other’s needs and desires, instead of later when it becomes a matter of pride or social standing will lead to a much more civil, maybe even amicable, divorce.
Benefits, Should You Get a Prenup
In reality, every couple getting married already has a prenuptial agreement; it is known by the name of a “divorce law”! However, many people find the law to be imprecise and lacking, which is why they prefer to have something tailor made for their specific situation.
Prenups get a lot of adverse publicity, but in reality, there are many benefits also:
- Such agreements may protect the rights of children from a prior union.
- If you are the owner of a business, it does not have to be divided in case of divorce.
- If one partner is under heavy debt, the other partner will not be obligated to share the burden.
- If you forgo a potentially rewarding career to get married, a prenup can ensure that you get compensation, in the case of a divorce.
- A prenup can cover more than financial facets, it can include things like which religion the children will follow in case both partners are of different religions.
Disadvantages of a Prenup
For all its positive points, there is no doubt that the prenup agreement does have a negative side to it as well.
- Starting a marriage with talk of what will happen in case one partner dies or discussion of divorce takes all the romance out of it, not to mention trust, the foundation of a strong marriage. In some cultures, such talk is also considered taboo!
- If there is no will, according to law if one partner dies the other inherits a portion of whatever the dead partner leaves behind. A prenup may take that right away.
- When one partner stays home to take care of it, or contributes in any other way in their partner’s business, by law they have a claim in the business. A prenup may take that right away.
- A spouse with a low income may have a hard time adjusting if they had enjoyed a lavish lifestyle during the marriage. Especially if a prenup limits the amount of financial support.
- One or both partners may agree to certain conditions that they may not have fully considered the repercussions of because at this stage they can’t imagine the marriage ending.
Overall, prenuptial agreements are the reality couples must face after all the romantic fantasy has faded away and the couple gets down to facing the obligations of day to day living post-marital bliss.