Should You Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

preneptual agreement, prenup, wedding, marriage When I say “prenup” what do you think? Some of you may squirm and say that if someone needs one, then it is not a true marriage because you should be able to completely trust the person whom you are marrying. Many also think that it kills the romance in the marriage because you are in essence “betting against your marriage” from working.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that you and your spouse sign before you get married (or sometimes you can do this while you are married, but it is most likely best to do so beforehand), and it helps protect your assets separately from each other. It can help protect your earnings, businesses, retirement, benefits, assets and so on. What if you just want to stay safe? Can you honestly say that you trust someone 100%? People change and possibly grow apart with time.

Having a prenuptial agreement forces you and your spouse to talk about money early on, which can be a good thing because it can help prevent some money mistakes that you may have later on in your relationship.

When you are planning a wedding, thinking about a prenuptial agreement might be the very last thing on your mind. However, I’m sure we have all thought or heard about how 50% of new marriages end in divorce. That is a common statistic that is blasted everywhere.

A prenuptial agreement should be thought of as a way to keep yourself safe just in case if something does happen. And if nothing happens, then you are still safe! There really should be no harm in getting one since they are usually simple and can be done with an attorney.

Now, of course different areas and countries may have varying laws regarding divorces and separations, but in general they are at least sort of similar in that if there is no prenuptial agreement, that assets and earnings will be divided. Please consult a lawyer in your area as there are varying laws. If there is no prenuptial agreement, then the marital assets such as savings, bonuses, homes, incomes and retirement savings will be split. Yes, even your retirement accounts.

Times when you should think about having a prenuptial agreement:

1. Your partner has a lot of debt.
This will help protect you if your partner has a lot of debt. If you have a prenuptial agreement, then you will most likely not be responsible for their debt if you separate. Now, you might think “well their debt now becomes mine and I’m fine with that.” But what if they had debt that they did not tell you about and you didn’t find out until after you separated? A prenuptial agreement may protect you in this instance.

2. You are the breadwinner and have much more saved.
This will help separate what you have saved already. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to limit the amount of alimony that your significant other will receive if the two of you separate.

3. You have a business.
If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, then your ex-spouse could end up owning half of your share of the business which you are a part of. Or if there is significant appreciation in the value of your business, your spouse could end up claiming a portion of this as well.

4. You have assets such as a home.
A prenuptial agreement will help protect you if you have assets as well before the marriage. If there is any appreciation, you might still have to split the difference, but in general a prenuptial agreement will help keep the home in your name.

Readers, when and how did you decide whether you need a prenuptial agreement?

Photo Credit (lel4and)

Comments

  1. Well, my wife and I both ahd nothing when we got married. We each had some debt and $0 to our names. I’m not sure we even had bank accoutns of any kind! It didn’t seem like there was a real point to a prenup in our cases.
    TB at BlueCollarWorkman recently posted..Old Buildings That Go UntouchedMy Profile

  2. When I met Greg, all he had were his clothes and some cheap furniture…oh, and about $2,000 worth of credit card debt. Needless to say, there wasn’t a deen for a prenup!

    If the circumstances were different, I would like to think that we still wouldn’t have gotten one. Marriage is for life! I hope to stay married until we die.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..So You Want to Win the “Lawsuit Lottery”?My Profile

  3. If I had a large net worth prior to meeting the lady, then I’d consider a prenup. Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue I had though. I was broke when my wife and I met!
    Jason @ WSL recently posted..Understanding the Basics of Deferred AnnuitiesMy Profile

  4. I am with Holly in that my wife and I view marriage as being for life so it really was not an option for us. If you can’t go into marriage with a certain level of trust, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That said, I can see the point of them. Someone in our family got into a marriage with someone who took them for all they were worth and did not have a pre-nup. If they would’ve had one, it might have helped them out.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Be an Advocate For Your Own Health CareMy Profile

  5. I seem to be in the majority here because we had a negative net worth when we got married. I do see the sense in having a prenup, but the whole concept of we are making plans to fail just kind of seems depressing. I do advocate for all women to have a little money in their name only. Not to be kept secret from your husband, but you just need something of your own for whatever might come.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..How Do You Prepare A Budget With Irregular Income?My Profile

  6. Great points. Prenups are like an insurance policy, it doesn’t hurt to have one but it’s helpful if you ever need to use it. I’m single and still debating this myself. 4 years ago if I had gotten married I wouldn’t have thought about a prenup because I was broke, but now I’m making more money and have more assets. I think my future spouse will understand if I decide to have one, but the thing I’m worried about is potentially her parents who may not like that idea.
    Liquid recently posted..Payments in the UK: How have things changed?My Profile

  7. When Mrs.CBB and I got married we did not get a pre-nup as it wasn’t needed. We both brought the same amount into the marriage and it didn’t really matter to us. Our money is still our money and I can see from the reasons you posted as to why it would be a good reason and I agree. The person you marry is never the person you divorce, be prepared. Mr.CBB
    Canadianbudgetbinder recently posted..The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 19-25-Black Friday and 35 Days Til ChristmasMy Profile