Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin didn’t get a prenup — do you need one? A lot of people think that a prenup indicates a lack of trust or optimism. They believe that it’s unromantic, that it favors the wealthier partner, or that the average couple wouldn’t need one.
Although a prenuptial agreement can be an uncomfortable topic to bring up, it can help couples build trust and ensure open communication lines. We understand that this might not be an easy task — but it is well worth it in the long run.
To help you decide whether a prenup is the right choice for you and your future family, today we will take a look at the ins and outs of the process.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, refers to a legal document where a soon-to-be-married couple outlines their rights and responsibilities. The contract describes what will happen to the couple’s separate and marital property should the marriage end due to death or divorce.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
The decision to get a prenup is a personal one. It may be the right choice for one couple and the wrong one for another. However, we highly encourage any engaged couple to have an honest conversation about their finances before getting married.
Discussing the necessity of prenup forces a couple to evaluate their finances, identify their financial goals, and determine whether their attitudes about money are complementary. A prenup may also be a good idea under the following circumstances:
One or Both Parties Were Previously Married
A divorce judgment or decree may affect a person’s future rights and responsibilities. Moreover, people who have gone through bitter and lengthy divorces may not be willing to marry again without securing their financial future. A prenup can help ensure that they won’t go through that process again.
One or Both Parties Have Kids
A prenup can help protect the financial interests of children from a previous marriage. It can prevent conflicts over a will or inheritance, ensure that certain assets remain separate property, and create living trusts for minor children.
One Party Decides to Be a Stay-at-Home Parent
From a financial standpoint, stay-at-home parents are usually at a disadvantage. They have to forgo job opportunities or career advancement to raise their kids. With a prenup, the couple can set terms to protect the interests of the stay-at-home parent. The other party can choose to:
- Provide the stay-at-home parent with a steady and sufficient income stream
- Commit to annual IRA contributions
- Pay for a life insurance policy’s monthly premiums
- Set aside property to guarantee that the stay-at-home parent will have a comfortable lifestyle even if they decide to end the marriage
One Party Is Significantly Wealthier Than the Other
When a person marries into money, they typically benefit from an improved lifestyle. This income disparity, in turn, can create rights for property division and spousal maintenance if the couple decides to divorce later on. A prenuptial agreement won’t just protect the assets of the wealthier party, it’ll also assure them that their partner is not marrying them for money.
One or Both Parties Wish to Protect Their Inheritance
A prenup is also an excellent tool for protecting future inheritance or generational wealth. Although inheritance is typically considered separate property, unintentional conversion can happen when, for instance, the funds are placed in a joint account. With a prenup, one party can clearly define which assets are separate property and prevent them from getting converted into marital property.
One Party Has Incurred Considerable Debt
Debts that are acquired before the marriage are paid by the person who incurred them. However, debts acquired during the marriage are typically paid for by both spouses. If one party habitually squanders money, a prenup can protect the other party from taking responsibility for the former’s debt.
One or Both Parties Own a Business
A divorce can destroy a business, especially if the business grows in value during the marriage and one party wants a share of that growth. A prenup is a good choice if one party wants to do any of the following:
- Prevent their spouse from acquiring an interest in the business
- Qualify their spouse’s interests in the business
- Provide them with absolute discretion when managing their business during and after the marriage
- Keep full ownership of the business, no matter what contributions their spouse makes during the marriage
Considering a Prenuptial Agreement? Let Us Help
Before tying the knot, you have to know what you’re signing up for. A lawyer can provide expert guidance and assistance to ensure that you and your partner are making the right choice.
Our team at Azemika Law offers competent and compassionate legal counsel for clients dealing with family law issues. We can help you create a prenup that protects your interests and is specifically tailored to meet your present and future needs. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.