While every situation is different, it is generally advisable for a couple to enter into a premarital agreement before they get married for many reasons. Here are the top reasons why you should get a premarital agreement before taking the plunge with your significant other.
An essential part of the premarital agreement process involves the full disclosure of assets, liabilities and income for each respective party. As such, entering into a premarital agreement allows you to not only get a complete picture of your spouse’s financial circumstances, but also allows you to step back and review your own as you move forward with the next phase of your life.
Setting the Tone
It is important to manage expectations in any relationship, whether these are emotional or financial ones. While marriage represents the most sacred union between a couple, at its core, it still represents an economic relationship between two parties. It is thus crucial for both people to come into the relationship with reasonable and informed expectations of what is to be expected of each of them financially.
Buy Now, Save Later
Premarital agreements can cover a number of topics pertaining to the marriage (although they cannot touch on the issues of child custody or child support). By having more clarity with respect to issues such as property division and spousal support, you may end up savings tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees down the road if you and your spouse were to get divorced at some point.
Of course, nobody goes into a marriage anticipating that they will get divorced, but it is a fact of life that they do happen at a not insignificant rate.
By entering into a premarital agreement before going into a marriage, a couple is not only clarifying the expectations they will hold between themselves throughout their marriage but is also saving themselves the potential for an extremely messy and costly divorce years later.
Are there situations where I shouldn't get a prenup?
To be sure, there are some situations where it may not be necessary for either party to get a premarital agreement.
In a situation where neither party is coming into the marriage with substantial separate property assets, it may not make financial sense for either party to engage in a premarital agreement.
Premarital agreements can also be a delicate subject between fiancés before they are getting married and if there is any risk that one will throw a wrench in the potential marriage plans when there is not a substantial disparity in the parties’ incomes and assets coming into the marriage, then it may be worth laying off on any formal agreements until a later time.