They may not be the most romantic thing you’ve ever contemplated. But prenuptial agreements could be the key to protecting both yourself and your spouse in the event of a divorce.
And all marriages eventually come to a close, either through divorce, or death. A prenup is the best way to protect both you, and your spouse-to-be.
You have a lot of assets.
This is the classic reason why people get prenups, but it’s wise. High net worth divorces are some of the most difficult and contentious to deal with.
With a prenup in place, there’s no question of what’s going to happen to the property. It’s already settled, and you can move on to figuring out what’s going to happen with the children, a provision you can’t put into these agreements.
It’s your second marriage.
Blending a family creates some inheritance issues. If one of you passes, you might want to make sure your children get certain pieces of property. Or you might want to make sure your spouse is taken care of, so all the assets don’t flow directly to your children.
Whatever you want, it’s a good idea to have it in writing before the marriage. Again, this creates safety and security for you both. You can each plan for the future knowing what’s been set up.
One or both of you plans on taking out student loans.
Student loans are the biggest and most burdensome debt most people will take out, second only to a mortgage. And that debt can end up divided in a divorce, especially if one spouse works while the other goes to school. It can also end up divided if any of the loan goes towards living expenses.
If you want to make sure each of you walks away with his or her own student debt, no more and no less, a prenup is the way to do it. And if you want some other arrangement, it’s a good idea to figure it out while you’re both still on good terms.
One or both of you owns a business.
Nobody really wants his or her ex wrapped up in the running of a business he or she has built from the ground up. But that’s exactly what can happen in some divorces. Sometimes, divorces can even put people out of business.
The problem is so bad that many partnerships or shareholder agreements demand a prenup from every person who has an ownership share in the business.
One or both of you creates intellectual property, or anticipates doing so.
Intellectual property is a much bigger issue today than it was even just a few decades ago. If one of you is a content creator, musician, or a software developer, it is more than possible that you’ll have intellectual property. And it’s likely to be one of your more valuable assets.
A prenup would allow you to maintain sole ownership of that property in the event of a split, as well as all the royalties or profits that come from said property.
Note – You will need help from an attorney.
Prenups must meet several specific conditions before they are enforceable in court. The judge has the option to throw out any prenup that was made under duress, or whose terms are too one-sided. You also can’t put any “lifestyle” provisions into the prenup, like adding consequences if one partner or the other gains too much weight. And if you don’t disclose all your assets, the judge could rule your agreement is fraudulent.
And if you’re smart enough to protect yourself this way, the last thing you want is to see the agreement thrown out.
Have you set a date? Contact the Law Offices of John A. Bledsoe to schedule an appointment. We can help you put together a solid prenup that helps you start your marriage off knowing you’ve done right by each other.