Prenuptial agreements are often a contentious subject. While some individuals are all for them, others find them unromantic or unfair. Many people also assume prenups are only for the super famous or wealthy. After all, you’ve probably heard of high-profile couples getting prenups to handle their many assets in the event of a separation.
So, you may wonder if prenuptial agreements are helpful for the average couple. Are they only for people with millions of dollars? Or can they benefit average individuals?
If you have questions about prenuptial agreements and if they are necessary when getting married, this guide is here to help.
Learn more about what prenuptial agreements are and whether you should get one.
Ask A Lawyer
While this article will offer some general information on prenups, it isn’t legal advice. Every situation is unique, and the best way to know what a prenuptial agreement would look like in your relationship is to contact a family lawyer.
A lawyer will know the laws and rules of these agreements for each state, as these can vary greatly.
What Happens If You Don’t Get A Prenup?
If you get divorced and don’t have a prenuptial agreement, the assets are divided up depending on state laws. Some states, such as Arizona, Idaho, and California, have community property laws. This means that all of the income and assets acquired during the marriage are split equally after a divorce. Community property law applies in nine states.
For these states, a prenup can ensure a more “fair” splitting of assets, especially if one partner worries they will contribute more than their share.
The other 41 states operate a little differently. If you divorce in the majority of states, a judge will make a call on what seems fair in regards to splitting assets. While splitting things equally isn’t always the fairest, divorces in these states can be lengthy, and couples might not agree with the judge’s decision.
A prenuptial agreement can simplify this process and remove some of the uncertainty.
When A Prenuptial Agreement Is A Good Idea
While any couple can get a prenup, it makes the most sense in certain situations. Here are some factors that make a prenup more essential and recommended by family lawyers:
- One or both members of the couple have children from another relationship.
- One or both individuals will receive an inheritance.
- One party has many debts from before the marriage.
- One or both individuals have considerable assets, such as a small business.
When A Prenup Isn’t As Vital
While many relationship experts agree that a prenuptial agreement is helpful for most couples, it’s more necessary in some situations than others. Here are some couples that may not need to worry as much about a prenup:
- Couples without any considerable assets
- Couples who don’t want to waive spousal support after divorce
- Couples where both individuals make similar salaries
However, even in these substances, setting up a prenup is beneficial. The act of determining the prenuptial agreement can encourage couples to ask crucial questions about their relationship, assets, and finances.
How Do We Set Up A Prenup?
While prenuptial agreements are more common and accepted now, keep in mind that judges may not honor them if they are deemed particularly unfair. So, to establish a valid prenuptial agreement, it’s vital to work with an experienced lawyer and consider equity in the agreement. The prenup should provide protection for both individuals, not just favor the wealthier person.
Also, remember that only some things are valid in a prenup to begin with, so hiring a family lawyer is a good idea.
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