Many couples who are planning to get married choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement. It is a very personal decision and requires a great deal of thought. Perhaps one person in the couple wants to have a prenup drawn up, but the other may not be happy about the idea. Regardless, when one or both parties decide that having a prenup agreement is the right course of action for them prior to the marriage, it’s important to know everything about prenuptial agreements. You must educate yourself about the facts as well as the pros and cons. If you are located in Manhattan, New York, hiring a Manhattan attorney who has experience with prenups is also wise.
What are the Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement?
There are certain aspects of a prenup agreement that can be beneficial for both future spouses. Those benefits are as follows:
• Each party gets to document their own property and keep it separate, which protects it and them in the event that the marriage doesn’t last.
• A prenuptial agreement can support a party’s estate plan and help the individual avoid having the court involved in deciding how property should be distributed.
• The parties get to decide what they want to treat as marital property and what should be community property.
• It allows you to document and detail any special arrangements between the spouses.
• A prenuptial agreement allows both parties to avoid court proceedings that can be long and involved in the future, which can lead to the need to hire divorce attorneys who can be very expensive.
• The agreement can help to reduce conflicts during a divorce if the marriage doesn’t work out.
• A prenuptial agreement can help to establish rules and procedures for issues that could potentially come up in the future.
• The agreement is good for assigning debt, including mortgages, credit cards, student loans and more to the spouse who has said debt, which avoids assigning liability to the other spouse.
Not surprisingly, many people have misconceptions about prenuptial agreements. Most have a natural fear of bringing up the term and believe that it will cause friction in their relationship, especially if marriage has ever been brought up as an option for the future. However, in many cases, the opposite is actually true. One of the biggest reasons why marriages end in divorce is finances, which is also one of the main irreconcilable differences that lead to divorce. If you discuss making arrangements ahead of time for your finances, property and assets, it can help by preventing many disagreements in the future. In addition, openly discussing options like prenup agreements is positive because you are engaging in healthy communication, which is important in any relationship. Even if you ultimately decide that a prenup isn’t the right option for you, talking openly about it is wise.
What are the Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Of course, anything that carries benefits also includes a few disadvantages as well. Prenuptial agreements are no exception. The downsides to getting a prenup include the following:
• Discussing a prenuptial agreement with your partner is unromantic. It can put a damper on your future spouse’s loving mood, so if you fear that it might scare him or her away, then it may not be the right option for you.
• The timing of discussing a prenup is not always ideal. When a marriage is just on the horizon or is still new, you are typically in a time of bliss and something like a prenuptial agreement may not even be a thought. You may not even understand many of the aspects of a prenup or why it might be good for you and your spouse. At some point in the future, issues that prenuptial agreements cover will eventually arise. However, if you don’t think the timing is right for discussing a prenup, you may want to reconsider. You can always wait to bring it up after you are already married and when you have more knowledge and experience regarding the management of the household. After you’re already married, this agreement is referred to as a “postnup.”
• State laws may cover all of your most pressing issues without a prenuptial agreement. If this is the ideal option for you, you and your significant other may not even need a prenup.
• Prenuptial agreements do not take into account anything regarding children. That means they don’t cover child custody or child support and that you must go through the court to determine those matters.
• A prenuptial agreement does not include a party’s personal preferences. They are specifically created to address financial issues.
Whether or not you ultimately decide to have a prenuptial agreement created before you take a walk down the aisle, it’s wise to contact a Manhattan prenup agreement lawyer to learn more about it. Your attorney can give you valuable advice about the course of action to take.