As the busy wedding season approaches, one question is commonly asked by new brides and grooms-to-be: should you sign a prenuptial agreement? Such legal documents are becoming more and more common as couples attempt to protect personal assets before saying, “I do”.
Here are some things you might want to consider as you plan for an upcoming wedding:
- Do you each have investments that you want to protect should you divorce?
- Do you want to have a family?
- Does one partner have more at stake than the other?
A prenup manages expectations of what can happen during a divorce and after. Without a prenup, the laws of the state – in other words, a judge – may decide what happens should you and your spouse decide to divorce. In other words, with a prenup, the couple will decide what happens to your financial future, and not a judge.
But there are other things to consider when you’re trying to decide whether or not to have a prenuptial agreement. For instance, make sure that your prenup is signed at least 30 days before your marriage to ensure that it will hold up in court.
You will also want to discuss with your attorney what is to be considered to be separate support and inheritance related matters. Figure out what is Separate Property, which each of you have owned before your marriage, and what will be considered Marital Property.
Think about if you want to waive alimony. Sometimes this is a good idea, sometimes it is not, as you don’t know what will happen in the future.
Also, determine whether a family member or close friend has named you a beneficiary to inherit money, real estate, or stocks. You will want to discuss this with your attorney.
Hopefully, you will never have to use a prenuptial agreement, but it may be a good idea to at least have one in the event you need it.
If you need legal advice, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.