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Prenuptial Agreement: What Is It & Do You Need One?

Over the years, it has been a common practice for the wealthy to obtain prenuptial agreements to protect their property should a divorce occur. But prenuptial agreements aren’t just for the wealthy. In fact, a majority of attorneys—62%—have seen an increase in the total number of clients seeking prenups in the past three years.
So the question is, do you need one?

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Also known as a “prenup,” a prenuptial agreement is a contract created between individuals entering into a marriage. The agreement outlines a variety of items for the parties, including what property each spouse owns prior to the marriage and what they’ll walk away with should the marriage dissolve. Prenuptial agreements are also referred to as premarital agreements.

What Does a Prenup Protect?

What a prenup protects will be determined during the creation of the contract. It’s important to understand that a prenup can only protect certain rights, including:

  • Separation of marital and individual property
  • Debt liability
  • Provisions for children
  • Protection of birth family property
  • Property distribution

A prenup can’t protect illegal property, child custody, financial incentives for divorce, or personal preferences such as where your family will spend Christmas after the divorce.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement the Right Choice for You?

If you are bringing several assets into your marriage that include large amounts of financial property, a prenup can protect them.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be wealthy, prenuptial agreements can still benefit you and your family. Consider a prenup if you or your spouse:

  • Have children from prior marriages: A prenup can help you provide provision for your children from past relationships. The prenup will continue to protect your property from the surviving spouse should you pass away.
  • Wish to protect yourselves from further disagreements: During a divorce, heated disagreements can make the process tedious for you and your family. A prenup can protect your emotional wellbeing by helping you avoid arguments about property and finances.
  • Have debts: If a divorce should occur, a prenup can protect you from your spouse’s debt.

A Prenuptial Agreement Can Save Your Property

A proper prenuptial agreement can save your property should a divorce occur. It can also protect you from the confusion and stress an asset-driven divorce can cause. To learn more about prenuptial agreements, send us a message.