While the concept of a prenuptial agreement may not prove particularly romantic, the legal document is becoming increasingly common in American society, and with good reason. You may think of a prenuptial agreement as something only relevant for those with particularly high incomes, but there is a myriad of other reasons having a "prenup" in place is a good idea.
You are probably not entering a marriage with the belief that you will ever need to rely on a prenup, but keep in mind the fact that roughly 50 percent of marriages now end in divorce, and many of the couples severing ties probably never expected to find themselves in that position, either. Thus, considering a prenuptial agreement is always wise, and here is why:
Prenups protect separate property
This is one of the more commonly cited reasons modern Americans consider prenups, and it is important to note that "separate property" does not always refer to something tangible, such as real estate or automobiles. The document may, too, protect business assets, if you and your betrothed were to split one day.
Prenups detail how shared property can be divided
Divorce is immensely stressful by nature, and it can prove even more so if the situation is particularly acrimonious. Having a prenup in place can minimize legal battles that may ensue following a divorce filing by laying out who is to receive what while reducing any need for haggling over property. Additionally, by reducing the chances of a lengthy court battle, you also reduce the chance of any children you may have being affected by it.
Prenups can dictate specific marital agreements
Some couples rely on prenups to dictate specific aspects and agreements relating to the marital relationship. For example, a prenup may make provisions for what is to happen if one spouse is unfaithful to the other, or it may detail payout instructions if one spouse leaves the workforce to better serve the needs of the family.
Prenups can dictate responsibility for personal debts
A prenup can also protect you if you enter a marriage with someone who has considerable individual debt. The document can protect one party from having to assume the debt of the other in the event that the marriage dissolves.
In summary, a prenuptial agreement can be customized to make any number of determinations that protect you and your partner, should your marriage one day fail. If you are interested in learning more about prenuptial agreements ahead of an upcoming union, you may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney.