Prenuptial agreements might not be the most romantic way to kick off a marriage, but they provide practical solutions for financial matters in a marriage. In the past, this agreement was heavily stigmatized and thought to signify that one or both spouses do not believe the marriage can last. However, more couples are deciding to sign prenuptial agreements before tying the knot, especially if it is not their first marriage. This agreement is not just about protecting properties or assets in the event of a divorce, but about having a clear vision regarding how finances will be handled throughout the marriage.
If you are uncertain whether or not a prenup is a wise decision for your own situation, consider these pros and cons before making a decision.
Pros of a Prenup
- Allows spouses to preserve family ties or inheritance
- Important financial matters are addressed
- If your future spouse is unwilling to sign a prenup, it is best to find out now
- If you have children from a previous marriage, you can protect their well-being
- Any personal business assets you accumulated prior to getting married can be protected
- A prenup puts everyone’s financial cards on the table
- Spouses are able to agree which assets they want to give to children or family members in the event of death
- Reduce or eliminate the battle over assets if a divorce occurs
Cons of a Prenup
- If there was a failure to disclose all assets, or if there is sufficient evidence of fraud, duress, or lack of representation when the agreement was signed, it is possible for the prenup to be set aside
- It might create some tension and resentment in the relationship
- One spouse might feel that the other does not trust him or her enough
- It might make it appear has though there is a lack of faith in the potential longevity of the marriage
If you are considering working on a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Be sure to have a discussion about prenuptial agreements early in the relationship. Waiting until you are nearly ready to walk down the aisle is too late.
- When you have the talk, be honest. Hiding your thoughts, feelings, or assets are all bad ways to start a marriage.
- In the interest of ensuring both parties are effectively represented, hire separate attorneys.
- You and your future spouse might want to consider asking both lawyers to provide an affidavit of independent legal counsel, which should be kept with the original prenuptial agreement.
When Both Parties Disagree
If one of you is totally against the idea of having a prenuptial agreement and the other is unyielding in his or her desire to have one, this might be the deal breaker that ends your relationship. That is why bringing up this topic early on in a relationship is crucial. If you cannot find common ground or make some sort of compromise, this is essentially the end of the road.
Drafting Prenuptial Agreements
It is a common misperception that prenuptial agreements are intended only for the wealthy, but the fact is these contracts can benefit anyone. At Krusch & Sellers, P.A., our Charlotte prenuptial attorneys draft and review prenuptial agreements for individuals of all income and asset levels. We not only assist with drafting prenuptial agreements, but postnuptial agreements as well. Postnuptial agreements address the rights of couples who are already married and would like to contractually assign their rights and responsibilities in the event of a divorce.
Always keep in mind that prenuptial agreements are something to plan for and you should not spring this on your future spouse so close to the wedding date that a court might question its validity and whether or not it was signed voluntarily. It is also vital to provide full and fair financial disclosure regarding income, assets, and liabilities, or this might also raise questions in court, potentially making it unenforceable. A prenuptial agreement does not mean you are anticipating a divorce; it simply means you are prepared for a worst case scenario. You protect yourself from worst case scenarios in nearly every other area of your life, so why not protect your finances?
To learn more about prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements, schedule a consultation with our North Carolina office by calling (704) 343-8811. Let us help you get started on moving forward with your future.