The prevalence of prenuptial agreements has grown during the last decades. A prenup was once something for wealthy people. Media attention and open conversation have made it a more mainstream part of marriage preparations. Couples are learning more about the pros and cons of a prenup.
Since marriage is a partnership, it’s appropriate to treat it as one. Marital agreements can include prenups, cohabitation contracts, and post nuptial agreements. You can also plan for your future by including estate planning, wills, and living wills.
Love includes intelligent decisions designed to protect each other, your family and your marriage. A prenup is not written in anticipation of the death of your marriage. It’s designed to better facilitate a transparent, trusting and lifelong relationship for many years. –Michelle Ogborne
Pros of a Prenup
Arizona is a community property state. In many cases, assets and properties that were yours before the marriage remain yours after the marriage. Those acquired during the marriage are marital assets and will likely be split 50/50. There can be mitigating circumstances that create exceptions to the community property rule.
A prenup clarifies what is to remain separate from the marriage. If your spouse agrees, you can make changes to your prenup. In addition to defining marital assets, there are several other prenup advantages.
- A prenup can provide protection from your spouse’s debt.
- You can specify compensation for giving up your job or educational efforts to advance your partner’s career or to provide childcare.
- It allows you to declare financial decision-making and responsibilities.
- You can separate and protect your financial interests.
- A prenup allows you to define and separate inheritances among children and grandchildren. This can be especially beneficial for blended families. An attorney can help explain inheritance rights protections.
- It can protect your business partners and employees if it specifies control and involvement of owners and stockholders. A prenup can also protect your spouse from liabilities and debts the business may incur.
- You can limit spousal support in the event of divorce.
Cons of a Prenup
Not every couple has a prenup. Examples of prenup disadvantages include:
- Limiting spousal support in the event of divorce. Depending on your point of view, this may be an advantage.
- Trust issues may arise. Many couples worry about upsetting their partner when they ask for a prenup. However, a prenup is actually based on trust and the desire to protect them as much as yourself.
- You may sacrifice what could have been your inheritance from your spouse’s estate. During the full bloom of new love, this may seem unimportant. Years later, as you have contributed to your spouse’s personal and professional success, this could be something you wish you could change.
You probably feel hopeful and excited about this new chapter of your life! Discussing what will happen when one or both of you die or seek divorce can be discouraging. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your prenup. Some couples include a mandatory date night once a month!
Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Prenup
There are debatable pros and cons of a prenup. It can be difficult to fully comprehend how your marriage is going to work when your love is new. Early relationships may not include children. You may have limited income or few assets. However, similar to estate planning, many people agree a prenup is useful, no matter what your situation.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.