When you decide to marry someone and share the rest of your life with that person, the thought of a prenuptial agreement sounds neither appealing nor romantic. That’s one reason why couples in love are hesitant to draw one up. Another is that society often equates ‘prenups’ with a high probability or even expectation of divorce. A third, equally prevalent assumption is that if you’re and/or your partner are not high net worth individuals, there’s no point going to the trouble and expense.
The reality is that a well-drafted prenuptial agreement does not turn a loving marriage into a cold and practical business relationship. It actually has unexpected benefits for each partner, separately and as a couple.
Set Financial Expectations
Drafting an agreement will give you and your partner the chance to discuss important marital issues such as property and finances. You can decide whether real estate and investments will be jointly owned or in one person’s name only, and how joint and separate bank accounts will be handled.
Money is a regular source of stress and disharmony among couples, so addressing financial issues in a prenuptial agreement helps establish mutually acceptable terms and get rid of unrealistic expectations. In that sense, prenups can reduce the possibility of a couple breaking up.
Establish Procedure for Future Disagreements
Marriages, both good and bad, are sure to include a significant amount of disagreement between spouses—especially when it comes to finances. Your prenuptial agreement allows you to pre-establish ground rules and procedures for how you will approach disagreements in the future. Having a set plan for addressing this type of discord can help you resolve any disagreements you have as amicably as possible and avoid the situation devolving into “irreconcilable differences.”
Good marriages require strong communicating ability, but so many couples have difficulty discussing certain matters, including finances, property, and even their own needs and desires in the marriage. By sitting down together and establishing a prenuptial agreement, you and your partner will become more open with one another by necessity. This can lead to an improved communication pattern that reduces the possibility of future conflicts and tensions.
Drafting a prenuptial agreement can be complicated, as it must be in accordance with state law and contain certain criteria in order to be enforceable. To avoid mistakes that could potentially render the agreement unfair or invalid, you should seek advice and assistance from a skilled and experienced family law attorney. Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC will help you create a valid prenup that will set the foundation for a strong and communicative marriage.
~Originally posted in September of 2016~