Do I Need A Prenup Before Getting Married?
The time leading up to your wedding is an exciting, happy period in your life. This is a time when you think nothing could go wrong in your life or relationship. No one expects to divorce when they marry. But everyone should plan for the “what ifs,” should a divorce ever occur.
Many decisions made during marriage, including joint ownership of businesses and sharing of financial resources, blur lines between who owns what property when divorce takes place. Whether you face your first, second or third marriage, you need to consider a prenuptial agreement.
Asking Your Spouse to Sign a Prenup
Many people still suffer hurt feelings when asked to sign a prenup. After all, why would anyone be thinking of divorce as they walk down the aisle? For the party asking for the premarital agreement, the other’s hurt feelings often cause tension, stress and hurt on both sides. But couples need to look at things practically, even when great wealth does not exist.
Most people have their own opinions about prenuptial agreements. Your opinion likely weighs heavily in the direction of whether you have assets of your own to protect, or you are engaged to someone with many assets. Particularly when one person owns a business before marriage, that person wants and needs to protect that business. After all, starting a company takes blood, sweat and tears. Giving that up in divorce after developing it alone is a horror story many business owners do not want to ponder.
When someone comes into a marriage with few to no assets at all, they often do not understand the need for a prenuptial agreement. They have nothing to lose, so they do not know what it feels like in their partner’s shoes, and vice versa. Prenups do little for the party with no assets but protect parties with assets to protect.
The prenup agreement talk is a stressful and awkward one. But it is important to discuss. The couples able to discuss this issue openly and prepare for problems before they occur are often the ones who maintain lengthier marriages, it seems. But you should not fear breaking up your relationship by bringing up self-protection in the event of divorce. You go into a marriage with individual rights and must be able to leave with those rights intact.
A Marriage and Family Lawyer Helps You Protect Yourself and Your Assets
Your best option is to talk with an experienced marriage and family lawyer, before walking down the aisle. This lawyer can help you find ways to discuss a prenup with your loved one, your future spouse. The attorney can even help you address the future spouse’s fears through clear language in the prenup that shows they are valued and protected in some ways too, should divorce occur. Even more, the family lawyer helps you protect what you worked so hard to gain so you do not find yourself starting over.