The time leading up to your wedding is exciting. Planning your life with your new spouse may involve moving in together, making plans for your honeymoon and thinking about your future. However, before you tie the knot it may also be important to discuss what might happen if you decide to part ways. Should you consider a prenuptial agreement?
Do you or your spouse own a business?
Dividing a business during divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging, and many divorcing business owners find themselves faced with either the cost of buying out their spouse or selling the business itself. With a prenuptial agreement, though, you can prevent your business from becoming marital property and protect it from a potential future divorce.
Do you have children from a previous relationship?
You and your spouse may enter into your marriage with the intent to love each other’s children as your own, but you may still want to take legal precautions to protect your children’s future financial health. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that your child’s inheritance is safe from the impact of a future divorce.
Do you own a house?
If you enter a relationship as a homeowner, a prenuptial agreement could be key to protecting that ownership. Using marital funds to pay your mortgage, maintain your property or make improvements on the house could lead to “commingling.” In these instances, the court will consider your house marital property even if your name is the only one on the deed.
Do one or both of you have debts?
Just as your home can become marital property through commingling, so can your debts. If you enter your marriage with student loan debt, for example, the court may divide that debt as a part of a divorce.
Will you or your spouse be a stay-at-home parent?
Taking time away from the workforce to focus on family can be a great way for mothers and fathers to spend valuable time with growing children. However, it can have a significant impact on your finances and your career. If you or your spouse plans to stay at home with the kids, you may want to address that decision with a prenuptial agreement.
You didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement before your marriage. Can you still protect your assets?
You may not have considered these details before your wedding, but it is still possible to protect your property from a future divorce. You and your spouse can create a postnuptial agreement during your relationship to address any of the assets you brought into the marriage or new debts or assets acquired after the wedding.
For many couples, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be key to protecting their assets and their future financial health.