When we hear the word prenup, it’s often in a negative sense. Dramas portray one spouse as losing out, on being made to suffer financially because of some obscure part of the agreement. This portrayal has certainly given prenups a bad rap, which is unfortunate. With almost half of couples divorcing, the fact that fewer than 1% sign a prenup often spells trouble when it comes to dividing assets.
If you’re getting married, consider whether you need a prenup. It may be a difficult topic to bring up with your future spouse, but it can save you both time and energy if you do decide to separate down the line.
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement between two people and is used to protect the financial interests of the parties entering into the marriage. It can also establish or legitimize other things the parties agree to outside of finances. Prenups can help establish the inheritance rights of kids from a previous marriage and can help protect one spouse’s business. It can dictate how debt is divided as well as future spousal support.
When you consider that there are two parts of your relationship—the beautiful part full of romance, love, and companionship and the more practical part comprised of building a life together—you can see where a prenuptial agreement may serve to provide guidance for the financial aspects of a relationship.
Some couples may worry that signing a prenup is almost like admitting defeat or that they are guaranteeing that they will one day divorce. Those thoughts are an emotional response and are valid. At the same time, a prenup gives a couple a chance to discuss financial matters and plan for the future. Prenuptial agreements can be handled by one lawyer, though, to protect everyone’s best interests, it is generally advised that each party have an attorney look over the document. By being open throughout the process and discussing each party’s goals, couples can craft a prenuptial agreement that protects their future finances while still maintaining their love and trust.
Who Should Craft a Prenup?
Individuals who are entering into a marriage with more assets than their partners are generally the ones that initiate a prenup. This serves to protect their assets should the marriage later fail. However, those entering a marriage with kids from a previous relationship or who own a business should also consider how a prenup may serve to protect them.
Often, individuals who have previously divorced are more willing to initiate a prenup because they have suffered the trauma of a divorce and understand how drawn out and negative the distribution of assets can become. While collaborative divorce aims to create a space where divorce can be a gentler process, a prenup is still a useful tool for easily establishing how finances will be dealt with upon separation.
Postnuptials—Agreements After Marriage
Once the honeymoon period of a marriage has subsided, couples may determine that a prenup would’ve been in both their best interests. Individuals who would like to craft an agreement after the vows have been said can consult with a family law lawyer to create a postnuptial agreement. Like a prenup, a postnup can help establish how finances will be handled if the marriage is terminated.
Prenups don’t have the best reputation, however, they serve a useful purpose. If you believe that you may benefit from a prenup, speak with a Tampa prenup lawyer to learn more about the process. If your future spouse has approached you with the idea of getting a prenup and you’d like to learn more, a Tampa prenup lawyer can help you protect your interests even as you pick out your wedding attire.