Many people believe that you can drain the happy anticipation right out of your wedding plans by suggesting a prenuptial agreement with your intended spouse. However, by having one in place, you enjoy a level of protection that some spouses do not have as a result of your prenup. If you have not yet married and are afraid to raise the topic, consider another advantage: a properly drafted prenuptial agreement can also be a great tool for estate planning.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (“prenup” for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all property owned by each individual (as well as any debts) and specifies what the property rights of each individual will be after the marriage. There are several benefits to having one in place, and we have outlined three below.
- Transparency of Ownership
It doesn’t have to mean that getting married or entering a de facto relationship will automatically share everything you own. An idea of what is shared between you and what remains solely your property is vital for you. A prenuptial agreement will clarify your property ownership, which can help set the rules and structure for your marriage, which will help avoid fighting over money! Talking about this can help you prepare your life together with your partner. Every good marriage has transparency and honesty and this is a step towards that.
- Better Communication
While you may not perceive a prenuptial agreement as the best way to talk about things, talking about property and assets can actually benefit your relationship. Speaking and setting rules will force you to discuss topics that might otherwise be neglected.
In doing so, when you enter your marriage, you and your partner will benefit from having a clearer idea of each other’s mindset and beliefs. Therefore, writing a prenuptial agreement can be a strong start that helps open your relationship and ensures that you are on the same page as your partner. This can reinforce your relationship and increase the chances of a successful marriage.
- Future Benefits
Having this financial document at your disposal can save you and your partner a lot of stress in the future. A prenuptial agreement can ensure you leave friendly and stay civil in the case of separation because it can help avoid disputes over assets and property. In our firm’s experience, the quickest and most amicable divorces are the result of a prenuptial agreement. It will ensure that you are protected individually and can secure important family heirlooms or assets.
Many spouses keep separate bank accounts, thinking “this is mine and that is my spouse’s”. It’s common, and often allows one spouse to buy that expensive item that they might otherwise not want to purchase with the other spouse’s income. The problem is that people do not realize that everything acquired during the marriage gets split up in the event of a divorce, even the money in “my” or “your” bank accounts. If you want to keep any of your money separate from each other, for whatever reason, then you must have a prenup — otherwise, you are not actually effectuating what you set out to accomplish by separating some of your income or assets.
Our firm drafts prenuptial agreements regularly, and we make it a priority to keep everything light and amicable. Just because attorneys are getting involved, it can be mutually beneficial to both spouses with the right team working for you.
Contact a Lawyer
If you are looking for an experienced lawyer to help you with your prenuptial agreement, call Sunshine Isaacson & Hecht, LLP at (516) 352-2100 for a confidential consultation.