There has been an increasing call for prenups in the past decades. Millennials marry later than their parents did so they’re likely to have more assets and debt by the time they get married. As a result, many couples recognize hiring a prenup lawyer as an opportunity to lay the most stable financial groundwork for their marriage and any future children. Having a prenup eliminates potential pressure on the relationship from unnecessary financial uncertainties.
Experts recommend first discussing a prenup prior to becoming engaged. This discussion gives you and your fiance time to talk about the idea and come to fully understand each other’s positions on the concept, without feeling any need to hurry due to wedding time constraints.
What Can and Can’t a Prenup Do?
A prenup is a legal agreement that allows couples to clearly define their finances going into their marriage, and how they would want to divide their marital property and debts if they ever decided to do so. The prenup can’t include agreements on child support or custody. Each state has its own laws regarding what can and can’t be included in prenups. So, ask an attorney to help make sure you’re entirely clear on the laws in your state.
3 Reasons to Hire A Prenup Lawyer During Engagement
Marriage is a relationship based on mutual feelings. However, it is also a financial contract. If you and/or your future spouse have practical matters of assets and obligations to consider, it may advisable to have a prenup prior to your engagement. Prenups have become an essential planning tool for many couples in preparing for their marriage. Here are a few of the most common reasons why couples choose to have a prenup.
- One or Both People Have Been Previously Married.
Various financial and other considerations may be best managed by dealing straightforwardly with whatever is being carried over from the previous marriage. For example, you may prefer to ensure that child support, or other financial assets or obligations are addressed. A prenup is recommended, if one or both spouses:
- Have been married before, or have a child from a prior relationship.
- Plan to have a child in the planned marriage. A prenup can help establish what your children should receive.
- Need to ensure that all members of the family have a formal financial plan, in case of death.
- Bring obligations or assets, or arrangements from a prior marriage.
- One Person Has More Assets or Debt Than the Other.
People entering their marriage while they have ownership interests in business with other parties may have a special need to help ensure that the business or its owners are not at additional risk of being disparaged, for example, through social media posts, negative television publicity, etc., in a case of divorce. A prenup may be advisable if one or both spouses:
- Own a business.
- Own real estate or personal property.
- Anticipate receiving stock options at some future point.
- Has a significant amount of debt.
- One Person Plans Not to Work Outside the Home.
If one spouse will be staying at home, perhaps to raise children, a couple is well advised to agree in advance on financial arrangements, so the person who stays home has the security of a financial contingency plan that takes into consideration the time taken out from career pursuits to raise children. A prenup is advisable if one spouse:
- Is expected to accumulate more substantial retirement accounts than the other.
- Expects to spend time away from work to raise a child.
- Reside in a state where marital assets may not be divided in a way that would be the most reasonable, based on your and your spouse’s particular finances, in the event of a divorce.
- Will delay completion of advanced education in order to raise a child or support the spouse’s career.
Should We Get a Prenup?
Of course, the decision to obtain a prenup is one that only you and your fiance can make. You should ask a qualified prenup lawyer for advice, especially if your finances are comparatively complex. Married couples can change their existing prenup at any time over the years. You may even prefer to have a timer set, within the prenup, that prompts a required revision after whatever number of years you set for it. (Married couples who don’t have a prenup can choose to get a postnup at any time.)
Daniele Johnson & Associates, Atlanta GA
We’re specialists in divorce law, visitation rights, child custody, and other legal matters involving families. We understand that many couples can benefit for life from the important financial security that a prenup can provide both people in their marriage. So, helping couples go into their married lives in the most responsible possible way, by guiding them through creating a proper prenup, is a very gratifying part of our work.