While most people want their marriages to last, some, unfortunately, don’t. Although divorce rates have been lowering each year, there is still a roughly one-in-two chance that a newly wedded couple will not go the distance with one another.
So, what can you do if you worry your marriage will, despite your best efforts and intentions, end one day? If you are currently engaged or are in a committed relationship but are not yet wed, you may benefit from considering a prenuptial agreement.
Pros and cons of prenups
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement between two people who are entering a marriage that can help define what happens in the event of a divorce or a spouse’s death.
When making a prenup, the first thing people generally consider is what happens to premarital assets. Premarital assets are any assets owned by an individual before marriage. Many people believe that having premarital assets returned to their original owner is the best thing for them.
Additionally, a prenup may include provisions for alimony. Alimony is financial support given to a spouse if a marriage ends prematurely through a divorce. Historically, alimony was paid to stay-at-home spouses by the breadwinner. If one spouse is planning on staying home or pursuing a creative career that may not be lucrative, knowing that spousal support provisions are in place can provide them with peace of mind.
Pros and cons of postnups
If you’re already married but you like the idea of setting legally-enforceable expectations in this way, you may want to consider drafting a postnup. A postnup is nearly identical to a prenup, meaning you can create alimony and asset distribution plans. However, the difference is that a postnup is made after marriage.
An additional benefit of a postnup is that it can help to redefine the terms in a prenup. This can allow people to clarify the treatment of new assets, such as inheritance, businesses or investments.
You may have realized already that creating a prenup or postnup could lead to a difficult conversation with your significant other. It can help to know your legal options and to encourage your significant other to engage in similar research so that you can both make informed decisions.