Are you thinking about signing a prenup but are not sure what it actually entails? Here are a few facts to get you started.
You may have thought about signing a prenup before getting married but have let it go due to what you have read online about it. You might have been led to believe that a prenup is usually used to protect a spouse with more money or assets and from losing money in case the marriage ends in a divorce.
The reality is, while prenups are a great way to clarify financial matters, they can be very useful to build trust and open channels of communication between you and your spouse.
Here are a few more interesting facts that you should know about how a prenup works.
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What Is a Prenup?
First, let us give you an idea of what a prenup is. A prenuptial agreement is a contract that you and your spouse sign before you get married. It is a written document that states what will happen to your assets and finances while you are married and in the event of a divorce.
A prenup also gives you both an understanding of the legal rights that you get and give up when you get married. It allows you and your spouse to work together to formulate the rules that will guide your marriage.
In case you are wondering how do you get a prenup, there are licensed attorneys to help you through the process. Look up reviews online and talk to your friends and family to pick the right lawyer for you.
Circumstances That Affect How Fair the Prenup Is
Each couple has unique circumstances when it comes to their marriage. How fair the prenup is will be dictated by the unique facts of that particular marriage.
Most states stress the importance of having an agreement that is fair to both parties. Both of you should disclose your assets fully and need to be represented by a lawyer.
The fairness of the agreement will depend on a few factors such as how much wealth or assets each spouse made during the marriage, will there be any alimony involved, and are there children involved that need to be raised by a specific spouse?
All these factors and more are taken into account to ensure a spouse is provided for adequately and their assets are protected.
You cannot just spring the idea of a prenup to your fiance/fiancee a week before the wedding. There are some states that will overturn the prenup in such circumstances.
Hence, you should think ahead and discuss the idea of a prenup with your spouse-to-be long before the actual date of the marriage. This way, both of you will have the opportunity to get used to the idea and do your own research on the matter to bring your terms and conditions to the table.
Facts About Alimony
Most prenup agreements either waive alimony or avoid the topic altogether. Waiving alimony means one party is not allowed to claim any alimony from the other party if the marriage dissolves in a divorce.
In case the matter of alimony is not mentioned in the prenup, then it leaves the opportunity for one party to go after the other seeking alimony. So, it’s better to spend some time thinking about alimony before your prenup is drawn.
Issues Related to Children
The rights of any children involved in the marriage are not provided for in the prenuptial agreement; neither is any documentation included involving how to address the issue of child support.
Most courts and legislatures do not allow the couples to hold any form of bargaining discussions when it comes to the rights of children.
Disclose Everything Honestly
Any prenup requires both parties to fully disclose all their assets. Anyone can google any of the parties involved to see their net worth.
But some states still require you to set it forth in the agreement. The courts will also look into the expected inheritance of each party. Even if one of the parties comes into some inheritance down the line, it will still need to be documented in the prenup.
What Happens to Assets from Before the Marriage?
According to most prenups, any assets a spouse brings into the marriage remain their separate property.
Likewise, a prenup can also state that whatever assets the couple acquired while they were married are to be considered marital property and will be subject to division.
That means any money or assets earned by a couple during their marriage will be divided between them in case they get divorced. This approach is popular amongst most couples, as each prenuptial agreement is tailored to reflect the specific terms that the couple agreed to.
Decide Whom to Leave Your Assets to
A prenup will usually require you to make some provisions for the surviving spouse. That means if you pass away first, your prenup will definitely require you to leave a sufficient amount of assets for your surviving spouse.
The prenup agreement also allows you to leave the rest of your separate assets to whoever you want.
What If the Other Party Won’t Sign the Prenup?
It is best to gather enough proof and clearly remember exactly what amount of premarital property you brought into the marriage. Most states will protect the properties that you brought into the marriage or gifts and inheritance that you received while you were married. But it still is wise to keep proper records so you can prove what you owned before getting married.
It is also a good idea to keep any statements of assets in a safe place where they cannot be tampered with or keep digital backups to ensure they don’t get lost.
Most importantly, you need to tackle the situation tactfully instead of getting bogged down in sad thoughts about the fact that your would-be spouse is not cooperating when it comes to signing the prenup.
Now that you are equipped with these important facts about prenups, hopefully, you will be able to talk to your would-be spouse about getting one.
You can now get back to planning your wedding, from the dress to the venue. It’s all about knowing how it works and how you can condition it to work for you. So make informed decisions about your marriage and let’s hope it does not come to a divorce. Best of luck with your conjugal future.