No one goes into a marriage thinking about divorce, but it is a possibility for couples. That is why so many choose to draft prenuptial agreements prior to getting married, which can spare a great deal of stress and conflict should your marriage end.
Prenups address common divorce issues, such as asset division. They also ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page financially. Here are a few important points to consider about prenups and how they work.
Separate assets remain separate
One of the biggest benefits of prenups is they help you and your spouse determine who owns what going into a marriage. Each party discloses their assets, which remain in your possession for the duration of the marriage. Should you divorce, you will leave the relationship with these assets, while splitting the shared, marital assets with your spouse. This is very reassuring for people who enter a marriage with a high level of wealth or those who own a business.
Prenups cannot cover all financial matters
While ideal for creating an asset division plan for shared assets, there are some things you cannot include within a prenup. For example, the court makes decisions regarding child support that are in the best interest of the children. As a result, you cannot include child support directives in the document.
The timing of your prenup is important
It is best to bring up the topic of prenups well before you get married. If you introduce the matter to your spouse directly before the marriage, they can claim coercion led to their decision. Additionally, states have different laws regarding their timelines, so aim to have the discussion at least six months prior to your marriage.
A prenup does not mean that you lack hope regarding your upcoming marriage. It does ensure you and your spouse-to-be have a clear-headed plan for the future.