For nearly all people, planning a wedding is a stressful, but very exciting process. From picking a venue to planning the guest list, there is a lot that goes into getting hitched. For most people, there is little if any consideration regarding whether or not a prenuptial agreement should be signed.
The majority of couples simply think they do not share enough wealth between the two of them to have to worry about one or the other taking them for all they are worth at some point. In fact, most people who are engaged can’t even fathom what would happen were they to get divorced before they are even married. This, however, is a mistake. Protecting your financial interests in one of the most intelligent things you can do before you get married. As lawyers, we have talked to a lot of couples about premarital agreements so we know why you may be considering not looking into obtaining one. After all, most people think that choosing to get a prenuptial agreement means that they are planning to get divorced. This is absolutely not the case. A prenuptial agreement is a way of providing peace of mind and protection to you and your future spouse, should things not turn out the way you imagine they will. This is not to say that you won’t live happily ever after, so just humor us for a few moments.
Things to consider when you are drafting a prenup
Perhaps you aren’t aware that one of the reasons that the divorce process is so difficult can be traced back to property division disputes. When there is no prenuptial agreement in place, the process of divorcing a spouse can be drug out for an extremely long time. That means a lot more money coming out of your pocket and into the hands of your litigator who is having to negotiate with your spouse and their lawyer. Once again, this is why we suggest you come to a premarital agreement with your future spouse.
When the two of you decide you may be interested in getting a prenup, there are important questions you need to ask one another as you begin drafting your potential contract:
- Will you consider assets and debts that were acquired before the marriage to be separate property?
- If debt is acquired by one spouse after the marriage takes place, but both are putting towards them, who will take responsibility if the marriage is dissolved?
- Who will acquire the house and other real estate holdings?
- Is there a family or jointly-owned business that needs to be considered?
Setting expectations for what would occur in the case of a divorce will likely ease your nerves and lead to a much more open and trusting marriage.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the difficult subjects
Sure, drafting your prenuptial agreement may not be the most fun thing you do before your wedding, but it is important. Knowing precisely how your future spouse will likely approach things like finances, paying off debts, income, saving and other money-related issues will likely help you to form a more solid foundation moving into your nuptials.
Need a family law attorney to help you with the process?
If you and your partner have discussed a prenuptial agreement but you would like more information so that you can do things right, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Loomis & Greene today and we can make an appointment for you and your soon-to-be spouse to come in to see us.