To your parents’ generation, asking a soon-to-be-married person whether they will get a prenuptial agreement always came out sounding like asking them if they expected their marriage to fail.Conventional wisdom has it that the younger generation is much less sentimental than their parents about both love and money, which could explain the growing popularity of prenuptial agreements among people born after 1985. Prenuptial agreement lawyers don’t like to think of prenuptial agreements as a plan for divorce; they prefer to think of them as a plan for how to combine your assets while you are married and how to keep them separate.
Why Do People Get Prenuptial Agreements?
Here are some reasons that couples, especially those who came of age during and after the recession of 2008, choose to get prenuptial agreements.
- Your spouse’s family has much more money than yours does.Signing the prenup is a promise to your spouse and your spouse’s family that the money is not the reason you are marrying your spouse. Property acquired during the marriage will belong to both spouses, anyway.
- One or both spouses have student loan debt.A prenuptial agreement is a promise that you will not let your debt ruin your marriage and that you will not let your debt become your spouse’s burden.
- You are divorced, and your divorce from your ex-spouse ruined you financially.The prenup is a promise not to let your first divorce ruin your second marriage.
- Your professional reputation is your most valuable asset.If you are a doctor or lawyer and your clients frequently choose you based on reputation, you can add a clause to your prenup that, if you divorce, your ex may not say things that will damage your reputation.
- You own a business at the time you get married.You can specify in the prenup that the business and its intellectual property will belong to you, not your ex, if you divorce.
How Do You Know If You Do Not Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Unless any of the statements in the previous paragraph apply to your situation, you probably do not need a prenuptial agreement.Prenuptial agreements cannot completely exclude the possibility that you will have to pay alimony, and they certainly cannot get you out of having to pay child support.In fact, a prenuptial agreement is not the place to make any decisions about children that you already have together or will have in the future.A prenuptial agreement is not a parenting plan.You cannot use it to make your spouse promise to give up custody of the children if you divorce or to make your spouse promise not to remarry before the children are grown up.Prenuptial agreements are mostly for decisions about money and physical property, as well as intellectual property, including your professional reputation.
Contact Kelly, Kelly, Marotta & Tuchman About Prenuptial Agreements
Are you thinking of living up to your generation’s reputation for practicality and signing a prenuptial agreement?Contact Kelly, Kelly, Marotta & Tuchman to discuss your case.