Prenuptial Agreements in a Marriage
Many people believe a prenuptial agreement is only for high-net-worth individuals. While such individuals typically take advantage of prenups more than others, anyone can get a prenuptial agreement if they wish to. These contracts are a legal way to safeguard your assets if you were to get a divorce, and carry several other benefits that we discuss below:
- Saves Time and Money: The time and money spent going to trial during a divorce are exhausting and inefficient. Deciding the division of property and assets can take weeks and months without a prenuptial agreement, which is the last thing you need during an emotionally draining event in your life. With a prenup, the tough decisions made during court proceedings have already been made, therefore you can avoid this demanding stage of the divorce process.
- Protects Separate Property: Both partners enter a marriage with assets, and with a prenup, they can walk away with those same assets in the event of a divorce. Many couples who do not have a prenup assert “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.” In cases involving a prenuptial agreement, however, the saying goes more like “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.” This isn’t entirely a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Separate and family property can best be safeguarded with a prenup because it’s a legal opportunity for couples to identify their assets and determine how they want to divide, or not divide, such assets if they get a divorce.
- Eliminates Shared Debt Liability Between Both Spouses: If your partner has debt from loans, credit cards or mortgages, to name a few, and you wish to avoid liability for paying those debts if you get divorced, a prenup may be right for you. One of its several advantages is protecting one spouse from having to share liability for the other spouse’s debts from before and during the marriage. Rather than fighting in court, you can rest assured knowing you have settled this discussion already.
- Opportunity to Communicate Openly: Many couples who are getting married don’t discuss their finances and assets first. Although it may feel uncomfortable disclosing all of your property, debts and financial obligations and expectations to your spouse, it can benefit you and your marriage in the long run. Not only can your connection with your current or future spouse strengthen, but you can also avoid worrying that the state will interfere and determine the distribution of your assets if you get divorced.
Although we discussed the benefits of a prenup, it comes with disadvantages that may affect you as well. If you’d like to learn more about how a prenuptial agreement may impact you and your spouse, please don’t hesitate to contact our Dutchess County divorce lawyers to get the clarity you need to confidently proceed with your decisions. Call (845) 605-4330 to get started!