Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

What is the purpose of a prenup?

When you’re a soon-to-be husband and wife deep in love, nothing can bring that bliss to a crashing halt quite as quickly as opening the subject of a prenuptial agreement. Those pieces of paper spark feelings of distrust and fear, and often bring up the defenses. Before you spiral too far out of control with those feelings, it’s important to sit back, take a deep breath, and look a little closer look at the purpose of a prenup.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract written by an unmarried couple before marriage that allows them to select and control many legal rights acquired upon marrying, and what happens to those rights if the marriage ends by divorce or death.

According to Nolo, “A prenuptial agreement (“prenup” for short) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage.

What is the Purpose of a Prenup?

Understanding a prenup is the first step to recognizing the purpose of a prenup. The easiest way is to look at some of its applications. It’s important to note they don’t necessarily have to do with divorce but can address the death of a spouse as well. Some of the applications are:

  • Protecting assets you’ve accumulated before your marriage, and specifying what you want to do with them. For example, you may want to pass them along to children you had from a previous relationship. Or perhaps you’re passionate about a charity and want those assets given to them.
  • You can specify numerous things that have to do with finances. Things like which debts belong to which party, or what portion of funds belong to the individual, and which will be jointly shared by the couple.
  • A prenup can name who will manage financial details and handle assets.
  • A prenuptial agreement can have a spouse waive rights to your retirement plan and name a different beneficiary.
  • A prenup is a safeguard when there is a large age or financial disparity. Thereby allowing a party to control the distribution of the assets they will bring into a relationship.

The bottom line is that the purpose of a prenup is to give rights to an individual to do anything they want with assets they had before the marriage.

According to HowStuffWorks, “It may also be called a premarital agreement, an antenuptial agreement, a marriage contract or a prenup for short. Its purpose is to settle financial matters in advance in the event of either a divorce or death. While a prenuptial agreement may seem unromantic, some experts say it’s just smart financial planning.”

While it’s easy to look at a prenup as something that says, I don’t trust my partner, typically, that’s not the case.

It’s about honoring what your future spouse has, and giving them the choice to be able to do with it what they want. In many ways, it gives peace of mind that can prevent arguments within the marriage.

The Myths Surrounding the Purpose of a Prenup

Many myths surround prenuptial agreements and the purpose of a prenup. Some people think it means one party is already planning for divorce, or that they distrust the other party.

The truth is, they are putting a lot of faith in their partner by openly communicating their concerns and fears. By putting everything on the table, they are saying, let’s figure this out together.

Another myth is that bringing up a prenuptial agreement will ruin the relationship. In many cases, both parties walk away satisfied with the agreement, and it strengthens their relationship. It says we are willing to talk about the tough stuff and be honest about what we want.

In the end, a good prenup will take into account both the partner’s needs and ensure both are taken care of should the relationship end for any reason. The best course of action is to find a compassionate and understanding law firm that will walk you through the process, make clear the purpose of a prenup, and help you come to an agreement that best suits everyone.

If you’re ready to speak with someone, contact us to see if we’re a fit for your prenuptial agreement needs.

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Trust Ogborne Law for Your Prenuptial Agreement in Phoenix, AZ

At Ogborne Law, we dedicated our time to working with couples as they hash out the details of a prenuptial agreement. We understand that the process can be stressful, and aim to make it easy and straightforward. Ogborne Law we work on a flat-fee basis according to your needs. The costs can vary from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands depending on what you need to cover. Learn more about the cost of a prenup in Arizona.

Our service area for prenuptial agreements in Phoenix, Arizona including Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Cave Creek, Carefree, and more. We also service many popular Phoenix neighborhoods such as Paradise Valley Village, Desert Ridge, Desert View Village, Norterra, Deer Valley, North Mountain Village, Arrowhead Ranch, Camelback East Village, Arcadia, Kierland, and more.

We also offer services that include the evaluation of business and estate planning. These services can work in conjunction with your prenuptial agreement to ensure your complete protection in the case of divorce. To better understand your options and the cost associated with prenuptial agreements call Ogborne Law today for a consultation. We are happy to answer all your questions from “How much does a prenup cost?” to “how do I talk to my fiancé about it?”