Property division can be a sticky aspect of divorce, both for couples who have significant assets and for those who have modest assets. Depending on the state in which the divorce occurs, the law generally either divides up marital assets 50-50 or on an equitable basis. Needless to say, these blanket approaches do not fit the needs of many couples. Therefore, it is important to consider a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements, when wisely drafted and properly executed, effectively trump state laws covering property division. But the benefits of prenuptial agreements are not just on the back end of a marriage—these agreements can also help on the front end as well. What exactly are we talking about?
It is fairly well-known within the world of family law that prenuptial agreements can actually help couples lay a more solid foundation for marriage in situations where finances are going to be an ongoing concern. The idea is that planning out the financial terms of a potential breakup can help put couples’ minds at ease and allow them to focus on the relationship itself. Then there is little guessing about what will happen to the property if a divorce takes place.
Couples can actually learn a lot about each other by working through the prenup process. In some cases, the process of working out the prenup may actually alert a couple to their financial incompatibility, which can lead to calling off wedding plans. Ultimately, this can be a good thing, since being on the same page financial speaking is very important in marriage.
This isn’t to say that prenuptial agreements abolish all possibility of fighting in the event of divorce, but only that when they are carefully planned out, they can drastically reduce the issues that can be fought over.
The important thing, when setting up a prenuptial agreement, is to make sure you are represented by an experienced attorney. Doing so will ensure your interests are well represented in the agreement.
Source: Business Insider, “Here’s Why Every Couple Should Get A Prenup Before Marriage,” Libby Kane, August 5, 2014.