Prenuptial agreements do not have to be a negative discussion between newly engaged couples. When it comes down to it, prenups are meant to protect all of those involved, including you, your spouse, and any children that may in your relationship.
Most people aren’t thinking about divorce when proposing to the one that they love, but this is a very real circumstance that many married couples face. While thinking about prenups may seem tacky to a newly engaged individual, it is definitely something worth considering before trying the knot. The reality of the situation is this: the divorce rate is currently sitting at 50 percent in the United States, and 38 percent in Canada. With rates this high, it simply is not wise to avoid planning for the future, even if it is one that you’d rather avoid. Signing a prenup before marriage simply offers you a safety net, in the event that the worst actually comes to fruition. It is estimated that only 5 to 10 percent of the population enter into prenuptial agreements.
When you’re in a situation like a divorce, you can feel very isolated and confused. If there is anything that you can do now to avoid making such an unimaginable situation even worse, why wouldn’t you?
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
Since only a small fraction of those who decide to marry actually sign prenups, many individuals have a skewed understanding of what they are. Prenuptial agreements are contracts that outline what typical marriage contracts may not. Marriage contracts may not delve into custody rights or access to one’s children, and may not limit a spouses’ possessory rights in the matrimonial home.
Prenups often pick up where marriage contracts leave off, ensuring that in the event of a divorce, each person within the relationship can rest assured that they will receive what they need to move on with their lives. Prenups are often popular amongst individuals who have accumulated substantial wealth prior to marriage, but this only reflects a portion of what a prenup can do to protect you. Some agreements can outline spousal support amounts in the event of divorce, and also contain special clauses in the event of adultery. These agreements give you peace of mind in knowing that even if the worst were to happen, you can move on quickly and avoid hitting rock bottom. No one wants to go through the hassle and stress of rebuilding their entire lives after divorce; prenups help ease that burden.
Financial Benefits of Prenups
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy. Most people who enter into marriage contracts have jobs and some assets to their name. If divorce does occur, it is important that those things that you’ve worked so hard for aren’t lost in an ensuing custody battle. For business owners, prenups are especially important to avoid the real risk of having to divide the rights to your business with your spouse. Even if you have a modest income, you may still be on the hook for paying spousal support when you get divorced, depending on the career situation that your spouse is in when it happens. If your spouse has residual school debts or any other sources of debt, prenups help you avoid taking on half of that responsibility. Many people carry educational-related debts with them for a long time. Once you’ve finally finished paying off your own, the last thing that you need to worry about is now paying for your ex’s too.
Planning for Your Children’s Futures
Prenuptial agreements are especially important when children are involved. If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenup can outline the inheritance rights for these children and any future grandchildren from this side of your family. Without a prenup, the futures of these children may be uncertain, as their portion of inheritance may end up being split with your divorcing spouse. The only way to retain the full amount of your children’s inheritance is to sign a prenup before your marriage. When it comes to the children that you have during your marriage, a prenup will outline the reasonable limit of child support payments that one spouse will have to pay the other.
When it comes to discussing prenuptial agreements before marriage, it is all about making sure that the future is bright for you and your spouse, even if your marriage, one day, falls apart.