Many people have an incomplete idea about what exactly prenuptial agreements are and who might benefit from using one. For many years, prenuptial agreements were relegated to a very small corner of society, but over the last several decades the public has slowly begun learning that prenuptials can offer just about every couple something valuable.
Prenuptial agreements can be as useful and even beneficial to couples of all kinds, and can strengthen marriages rather than weaken them — provided that the couple creating the agreement works together to create a document that protects their respective interests.
A well-crafted prenuptial agreement can remove many of the pressures that place strain on a relationship, giving couples room to work on the heart of the marriage. Rather than simply creating a blueprint for easy divorce, a prenuptial agreement can act as a shield of protection around your marriage.
Creating any legally binding document requires a great deal of focus and attention to detail. If you believe that your marriage may benefit from a prenuptial agreement, you can speak with an experienced family law attorney who understands how to guide you and your spouse-to-be through the process, keeping your rights secure along the way.
Protect the one you love
Prenuptial agreements offer a wide range of protections, so it is good to have an idea of what one may do for you.
One of the primary functions of a prenuptial agreement is distinguishing between personal property of one specific spouse and marital property shared between spouses. In many instances, if one does not take precautions, both spouse's property becomes marital property when the marriage is official.
However, this is often not in the best interests of marriage, or of one or both spouses. For instance, many couples do not realize that "property" means both assets and liabilities. If either you or your spouse carry a significant amount of debt, or if you face particularly aggressive collections tactics, you can use a prenuptial agreement to keep the property of the debt-laden spouse separate from that of the other spouse. This way, creditors face much greater difficulty accessing the other spouse's property to satisfy debts.
Similarly, prenuptial agreements are useful for protecting business or creative endeavors that are precious to one spouse. If you own a business, even if you never get a divorce, it is useful to keep it legally separate from your personal finances. Similarly, you may use a prenuptial agreement to protect a film, album, novel or any other creative work, even if it is not yet created. It is a truly loving gift to encourage the person you love to hold on to one's passionate projects, should things between you go sideways somewhere in the future.
Another significant strength of a prenuptial agreement is that in order to create one, you and your partner must sit down and have a number of possibly difficult, but important conversations about financial behavior and expectations. In order for a prenuptial agreement to stand, both partners must have a reasonably clear understanding of the terms within it, so it is an excellent opportunity to talk about some of the least pleasant parts of a relationship in a neutral, safe setting.
Financial disagreements and disappointed expectations are among the most common reasons that marriages end. If you want to strengthen and not weaken your marriage, a prenuptial agreement is great way to do so. After creating a prenuptial agreement together, you and your partner will understand much more about each other's priorities and habits than you may already.