A prenuptial agreement is often thought of as only for the very wealthy, but many people use prenups before marriage to outline financial responsibility and accountability. Most would say that a prenup is unromantic, but financial matters are one of the most contested areas in a divorce. Protecting your assets before you get married is simply smart financial planning.
What Goes in a Prenup?
A prenup generally covers the financial matters of each party during the marriage and what happens in case of divorce. Prenups often describe how property is to be passed to children from previous marriages in case of death or divorce. Prenups are specifically for financial issues, but in movies and TV, they are often used for household or child-care responsibilities. Legally, those issues are best handled outside of the prenup. Prenup agreements cannot cover any activity that is illegal, nor can you put things in a prenup that are against public policy.
Is a Prenup Forever?
Some prenups last until the marriage is dissolved, whether by divorce or death. Other times, the prenup may have a provision to end after the marriage lasts a specified amount of time. In some cases, a prenup might go into effect after a few years of marriage. Typically, the prenup goes into effect on the day of the wedding and lasts indefinitely.
How to Talk About a Prenup?
The time to discuss a prenup is long before the wedding. Finances play a huge role in every couple’s marriage. Discussing these things once you’re engaged is just smart. You need to be truthful about your finances when creating the prenup. An omission can invalidate the agreement. Both people in the marriage need to agree to the prenup. Both parties should have their own lawyer.
Do You Need A Prenup?
Generally, a person with assets and liabilities or children from a previous marriage may want to discuss a prenup with their attorney. No one wants to think about their marriage ending, but the sad truth is that about 50% of marriages do end in divorce. Having a prenup can reduce conflict if the marriage does break up.
Prenups have been around for hundreds of years. There’s no shame in wanting to protect your assets against divorce or for your children of a previous marriage. Contact a lawyer, like a family law lawyer in Arlington, VA, about your situation to discuss a prenuptial agreement. Only you can make the decision if it makes sense for you.
Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their time and input into family law.