Most people don’t consider themselves particularly wealthy. And even if you do, you may be against the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement because of the bad reputation they have. But you should know that prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous, nor are they used simply to disenfranchise your spouse. In fact, prenups are supposed to protect both spouses and to make a divorce more predictable and less acrimonious.
Prenuptial agreements are growing in popularity among younger couples. Below, we discuss why the trend is changing and why you may want to consider one for your own marriage.
Young couples have more individual assets
The average age of Americans entering first marriages has gone up in recent decades. It used to be common for couples to marry right out of high school or early in college. Adults that young rarely have any individual assets to protect. These days, many Americans are entering first marriages in their late 20s or even early 30s. They may already have a career, own a home and contribute to a retirement plan. In other words, they have individual assets they want to keep separate if divorce ever becomes necessary.
Dispelling myths and image problems
There is a common belief that asking for a prenup shows that you are expecting to get divorced. But that’s like arguing that someone who buys car insurance is expecting to get into a serious accident. Like insurance, a prenuptial agreement is simply a contingency plan in case divorce becomes necessary. It provides protection and makes the aftermath more predictable.
Have you ever heard that prenuptial agreements are a romance killer and that they doom marriages to failure? This is only true in cases where one person pushes the idea on their reluctant fiancé or delivers the prenup as an ultimatum. If couples are clearheaded about pursuing a prenup and are willing to discuss terms calmly, it can actually improve the strength of their relationship. Prenuptial agreements prompt couples to discuss difficult but important subjects like spending/saving habits, having children, going into debt and overall expectations for one another. These topics will need to be discussed eventually. It’s probably best that they are broached before the wedding.
Work with an experienced attorney
A prenuptial agreement is a contract. And like any contract, its terms need to be thoughtfully drafted, it needs to be fair to both parties and both parties must sign freely – preferably after conferring with their own attorneys. If you’d like to learn more about prenups and what they require, contact our firm to arrange an initial consultation today.