Although prenuptial agreements commonly conjure up images of the super-rich signing contracts to protect their empires, prenups can also have benefits for people of more ordinary means. Fundamentally, a prenup is a contract between two people that lays out the rights of each of them with respect to things like marital property and spousal support in the event that the marriage ends in divorce.
It is important to note, however, that state laws that govern prenuptial agreements do not allow these sorts of agreements to govern issues related to future children, such as child custody or child support payments. Nonetheless, prenuptial agreements can still be a good idea for a future married couple, provided they properly consider the costs and benefits.
The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenups are often thought of as devices used to protect people’s family fortunes or business interests from divorce, but there are many other uses for these sorts of agreements. For instance, many people have old family heirlooms that they bring into a marriage. While state law may naturally protect that property, it is possible for it to be lost in a divorce unless it is protected via a prenup. Similarly, many people have retirement accounts or other nest eggs. Those people can use prenuptial agreements to protect those accounts and ensure that their retirement plans stay on track.
Prenuptial agreements also have practical benefits during a separation. Haggling and litigating over every issue in a divorce can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Prenups can circumvent much of that difficulty by laying out a plan for how the separation should break down in advance. That plan can make it cheaper and easier to actually go through the divorce process.
Possible Drawbacks of a Prenup
Despite these benefits, it is worth noting that a prenup does come with a practical drawback; many people consider them unromantic or difficult to discuss. The objection comes from a reasonable place. No one wants to think about the possibility that the marriage is going to end before it even begins. However, people should note that prenups are not about already having one foot out the door. It is merely a case of preparing for the worst even while everyone still hopes for the best.
Beyond that, marriage is a legal enterprise in addition to being a romantic one. Prenups give couples the ability to tweak that law in a way that best suits them, rather than being forced to simply live with the defaults that the law sets out for everyone.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Marriage is an important legal commitment as well as a personal one. If you want more information about prenuptial agreements and how one can benefit you and your future spouse, contact a seasoned divorce lawyer for legal assistance.