If you are getting married this spring or summer, you probably have a lot of loose ends to tie up in the coming weeks and months. You may be planning a wedding, moving, or preparing to start a family. With so much to think about, it can be easy to put off planning for the future.
This could be one reason why people shy away from discussions about prenuptial agreements. However, failing to have an open, honest conversation about a prenup could be a costly mistake. To protect yourselves, you should discuss the following four questions:
- Do either of us have separate property? Separate property is typically one of the main factors people create a prenuptial agreement. It is property you own before marriage. You can protect your ownership of this property in a prenup to ensure you retain it in the event of a divorce. Failure to do this could potentially create issues when it comes to dividing assets.
- Are either of us entering the marriage with sizable debt? Debt, like property, is divided upon divorce. However, parties can protect themselves from being liable for the other party’s debt by having a prenuptial agreement.
- What are our marital priorities and expectations? While you should not use a prenuptial agreement to assign chores or place restrictions on social behaviors or appearances, you can address certain priorities and expectations in a prenuptial agreement. For instance, you may determine which party will manage and control property. You could also discuss the grounds under which a person would or would not receive spousal support.
- Could others be affected by the presence or absence of a prenup? If you have a child from a previous relationship, a business partner or have a stake in a family business, then these other parties could be significantly affected by whether you have a prenup. If you don’t have a prenup and you get divorced, others could experience repercussions affecting their property, finances and future.
It can be uncomfortable to talk about these matters when you are preparing to commit to each other for the rest of your lives. However, discussing these topics now and making a plan can save you considerable grief and stress, should the marriage end in divorce.