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Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming more common, but there are many misconceptions about them going around. They aren’t just for the super-wealthy or a sign that you’re not committed to your marriage. A well-designed pre-nup is a smart thing to have in place for a lot of couples.
Here are some of the reasons why you should have one.
What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
In basic terms, it is a document agreed upon and signed by both parties that states what will happen to certain assets and responsibilities should the marriage end. Unless it is judged that the pre-nuptial agreement is unfair to either party or was signed under duress or pressure, then it will usually be contested by your divorce attorney and upheld by a court.
Protect particular assets
If you have property or assets that have particular importance to you or your partner, then these can be ringfenced when discussing the division of assets. For example, your parents may have left you your childhood home or items that have been passed down through the generations. These will be considered off the table when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce.
It can make the process easier
Getting a divorce is a very stressful time in your life. The emotions that go along with it can be intense. The last thing you want to do is negotiate every aspect of the divorce at this time. You don’t want to look back on this time in the future and wish that you had or hadn’t done something. Setting out these elements ahead of time can make the process easier for you and your family.
If the divorce isn’t an amicable one, then a pre-nuptial agreement reduces the amount of discussion and potential conflict you might have otherwise had.
Protection of business interests
If one or both of you has a major interest in a business, then in a divorce without a pre-nuptial agreement, this could be deemed as an interest that could be shared. Your business partners are going to want some assurances that if you get a divorce, you won’t suddenly have to sell your share of the company or require your former spouse to have control.
Having everything set out in a pre-nuptial agreement means that you’re going to save money. Hiring divorce attorneys, accountants, and arbitration professionals can cost money, which will add up if you can’t agree on things. In a pre-nuptial, you’ve already agreed on these things, so you can focus on honoring those.
When you’re about to be happily married, it makes sense that you don’t want to be thinking about what would happen if you broke up. But having a pre-nuptial agreement doesn’t mean you’re expecting things to fail, it’s just a sensible thing to do. Think of it like home insurance, you aren’t expecting your house to fall down, but it would be good to have a contingency in place if it does.