Understanding The Importance Of A Prenuptial Agreement
While everyone enters into marriage hoping it will be happily ever after, in sickness and health, in good times and bad, the sad truth is this often isn't the case. Statistics have long been reported that about half of all marriages end in divorce, but it's actually a bit less than and appears to be declining. However, marriages are also declining.
Not everyone believes in the wisdom of getting a prenuptial agreement. This may be for religious reasons or simply because they just don't believe in the concept, but there are certain situations where a prenup should be strongly considered. Here are three situations in which you should definitely consider this legal protection.
You Own Your Own Business
It is not uncommon for those who marry later in life to have established themselves professionally, and this often includes having started a business. No one wants to think about getting divorced when they are madly love and planning a wedding, but if you own your own business, don't let love blind you to the facts.
If your marriage fails, your spouse could end up with half of the business you worked hard to create. This means you would either have to continue in a 50/50 partnership with them after the dissolution, or buy their half out. If you can't afford to buy them out, you would have to sell your business or other assets.
You Have Children From A Previous Relationship
Regardless of your children's ages or your financial position, if you're like most parents, you likely want to leave them an inheritance when you die. Whether it is the childhood home they grew up in, money, personal items, or vehicles, if you marry someone without a prenuptial agreement, this will all legally belong to your spouse when you die. This situation almost always leads to problems, no matter how good the personal dynamics of relationships were previously. A prenup will allow you to retain the rights to the things you came into the marriage with and to disperse them as you see fit.
There Is Tremendous Debt
When there is financial disparity, especially in terms of debt, entering into a marriage without a prenuptial agreement can be disastrous in the event of a divorce. For example, if someone has thousands of dollars' worth of outstanding student loans, the other party could be held legally responsible if the marriage is dissolved. Do you really want to potentially end up footing the bill down the road?
If you are planning on getting married, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney beforehand. You can each discuss the potential pitfalls of marrying without a prenuptial agreement. Opting for one doesn't necessarily mean one or both parties don't have faith in the relationship. Rather, it means they each are mature enough to understand reality and want each other to be protected.