There are few subjects as divisive as a prenuptial agreement. So you have found the person you love and you are preparing to spend the rest of your lives together – er… just as soon as you both agree to a series of legally binding financial commitments. It could be a bit of a killjoy, to say the least…
Your feelings on the prenuptial agreement will very much depend on whether or not you are the person who has requested it in the first place. You may be under pressure from your family to protect inherited wealth, or you may want to put something in place that ensures you and your partner are both going to be taken care of in the future, no matter what.
A prenup doesn’t necessarily mean that you are preparing for a divorce before you’ve even tied the knot. In fact, prenups are becoming more and more common these days and the stigma is starting to fade. So should you consider it?
1. If one (or both) of you have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement will protect their inheritance, should anything happen to you. If you have already made provisions for this in your will, a prenup will act as a sort of insurance policy on the off-chance that your will is contested.
2. A prenup can help lay out the day-to-day and year-to-year financial arrangements for your forthcoming marriage. For instance, how are mortgage repayments going to be divided? Who takes charge of paying the bills? Who will manage the joint savings account? Money is one of the most contentious issues in marriage, so it can really help to have these things ironed out before the wedding. Once you get married, your tax liabilities will change, so this could be a useful opportunity to get on top of your soon-to-be joint finances.
3. Not many go into marriage expecting a divorce, but unfortunately, divorce does happen. A prenup is the only airtight way of protecting your assets and ensuring that any divorce proceedings are as (relatively) painless as possible.
A prenup doesn’t necessarily mean that you are preparing for a divorce before you’ve even tied the knot.
1 There is no getting away from the fact that prenups are decidedly unromantic. In the run-up to your wedding, you want to be able to celebrate your love, not hash out financial agreements in case of a divorce. Money is a very sensitive subject for some people, and the prenup discussions could lead to a few shocking revelations and serious arguments.
2. Prenup negotiations can drag on indefinitely, and if you are up against a tight deadline, you risk making some bad decisions or missing a key point. If you are asking your beloved to sign a prenup, they are well within their rights to draw up a version of their own and you might not like what it has to say.
3. Traditionally, prenups were created to protect the existing wealth of one or both parties, but recently, they have been expanded to include potential custody plans, divorce settlements, and living arrangements. They can even feature clauses on infidelity, prolonged absence and anniversary ‘bonus’ payments.
Just make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for before you open this potential can of worms.