Many people are entering into marriage later than people have in years past. They are waiting until they have secured a good job, a home, and financial security. In some cases, they might even be bringing wealth that was from an inheritance.

With the divorce rate in the United States averaging 50% (and more), it is wise to establish some rules before any union. This is for the good of the couple, their children, and their grandchildren. A family law attorney will oversee any contracts and ensure both parties are in agreement and that the law has is being followed. We will look at a few of the benefits of having a properly prepared and executed prenuptial agreement.

Benefits of a Prenup

  • Protects your estate
    • This addresses money, property, and other material possessions that were yours before the relationship with your spouse began.
  • Resolves Conflicts
    • If both adults are in agreement and satisfied with the prenup, there will be no arguments in the future concerning the property in question.
    • Heirs of the couple cannot change the wishes of the parents expressed in the prenup. The parents are in control and decide what is to be shared and what is to be reserved for particular people.
    • Helps you in preparation of your will, which will enforce your wishes even after death.
    • Defines (for you) what is considered community property through the court and allows you to address it.
    • Establishes ground-rules for the marriage.

Is this good for your marriage?

You need only say the word prenup in a room full of brides and you will get the same comment, “We don’t need a prenup. We will always trust each other.”

That is easy to say when you are in a safe place in life and in love. But when faced with a trusted spouse who you have caught in the act of adultery, or any adult children demanding their grandmother’s diamond ring because it is an heirloom and meant to be theirs, you may reconsider.

Much of it depends on how you look at the proceedings. If you look at it as a fair and honest way to protect each other and your property, a prenup can strengthen the marriage. However, if you look at it as an insult to you or a way to ensure your children are left out, it can be difficult. In any event, it is better to address it before you are legally bound.

Issues that are not financial, but are important to you

There are issues that a couple hopes they never face, but they need to be prepared for. Often the couple will make these agreements in a prenup to cause less trouble in the future.

  • Children
    • If there are children in the family when the wedding takes place, what are their rights?
    • If there is a divorce, who will be responsible for their support?
    • Will there be visitation?
    • Who will pay for their college education?
    • What form of discipline is intolerable in the home.

Unacceptable situations in a Marriage

Some couples feel very strongly about certain situations in life.  For example, the husband may feel so strongly about overweight people, that he may ask for a prenup that does not allow for either of them to gain more than 20 pounds during the marriage. Seems farfetched, but this is something more common in prenups than you might believe.

These issues and much more are easily addressed with a family attorney and a prenuptial agreement.