A prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) is a legally binding agreement that sets out how debts and assets, including spousal support, will be divided in the event of a divorce. There can be conditions and contingencies to the prenup, such as the length of the marriage.
Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?
While there are very few couples who could not benefit from a prenuptial agreement in some way – even bringing up the topic can open valuable lines of communication – it is especially important for couples where:
- One or both of the partners has children or other dependents
- One or both of the partners owns a business
- One or both of the partners is bringing family property into the marriage
- One or both of the partners wants to direct their inheritance
- There is a significant difference in debt
- There is a significant difference in assets or earning potential
The primary intent of a prenuptial agreement is to protect assets or property brought into the marriage, as well as assets acquired during the marriage. It can also protect a spouse who has left the workforce to raise children.
Another very good reason to consider a prenup is that the process of dividing assets and debts can be lengthy, unpleasant, and expensive, especially when the divorce is contentious. If couples can agree on what they consider fair when things are good between them, it can save time, pain, and cash if a divorce should become necessary down the road.