Your checklist for your wedding preparations may be long enough, and you may already feel like you are running out of time even if the big day is months away. However, you may be forgetting one important item on your to-do list: drafting a prenuptial agreement. Of course, you may be like many Pennsylvania residents for whom those words send a shiver of suspicion down your spine, but prenuptial agreements can be a critical tool for transparency and security in a marriage.
While it is true that not every couple may benefit from such a contract, there are specific situations in which partners may be making a serious mistake if they don’t at least have a conversation about it. You may be surprised at the low rate of divorce for those couples who have prenups from the start.
Is it right for us?
Some legal professionals report that only 5% of their clients who sign prenuptial agreements end their marriages in divorce. While a prenup generally establishes the rights of each partner in case of death or divorce, you reach those decisions in an atmosphere of mutual love and companionship instead of waiting until you are embroiled in an emotional breakup. Couples often bring delicate matters into the open at the start of their marriages and have important financial conversations that can positively affect their future.
In certain circumstances, prenuptial agreements can be a critical form of protection, including:
- You or your intended have already gone through a painful divorce.
- One or both of your have children from previous relationships, and you want to ensure they receive their fair inheritance.
- Either you or your spouse have significantly more income or assets than the other.
- One of you brings considerable debt to the marriage.
- One of you owns a business that you do not want to jeopardize in case of divorce.
- You or your partner has generational wealth to protect.
- You and your partner have agreed that one of you will stop working to raise children.
- You want a plan for resolving marital disputes with as much confidentiality as possible.
You may feel nervous starting the conversation about prenuptial agreements, but if it is your intention to discuss it, you should plant the seed while there is still time before the wedding. Waiting until too close to the nuptials may place a cloud over the validity of the document. Additionally, once the agreement is in place, there are steps you will have to take throughout your marriage to avoid nullifying the contract.