Couples on the verge of marriage must address many topics before taking that final step into matrimony. One topic often overlooked, though, is whether to pursue a prenuptial agreement.
Created before the marriage, a prenuptial agreement is a contract that will help ensure a person’s non-marital property remains safely and solely in his or her hands. A prenuptial agreement represents a way to avoid property disputes should the marriage end.
Protection remains a critical element
Protection is at the foundation of a prenuptial agreement. You want to make sure that the assets you bring into the marriage remain yours and safely apart from and not commingled with future marital assets the two of you may accumulate.
Here are some of the reasons that a couple should consider a prenuptial agreement:
- An established professional entering a second or third marriage: You and your future spouse built up your assets separately. You want to keep those assets separate, protecting and marking them as inheritances for your adult children from previous marriages and your grandchildren.
- You are wealthy: If you are considerably wealthier than your soon-to-be spouse, get the prenup. Protecting your investments is essential for any affluent person. You may be bringing into the marriage a considerable and diverse investment portfolio of real estate, stocks, stock options, bonds, pensions, retirement accounts, jewelry and collectibles.
- Debt: If either you or your future spouse carry significant debt, it is time to consider a prenuptial agreement. You do not want to burden your debt-free spouse with your personal debt, which may drag him or her into a financial downward spiral difficult to overcome.
- You are a business owner: Whether your business is a well-established one or a start-up, you want to protect your company. Without a prenuptial agreement, your company may be divided up and diluted, threatening its existence.
Make a point of addressing a prenuptial agreement in your pre-marital discussions. You will thank yourself for doing so.
A safeguard in place
With many marriages ending in divorce, you want a safeguard in place to protect your assets. A prenuptial agreement represents a realistic way to ensure this will happen.