Why Should I Sign a Prenup?

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NBC News’ recent article asks “Prenuptial agreements: What is a prenup and should I get one?”

So, should you?

First, a prenup is a legal agreement entered into between two people before they are married, that can cover many issues dealing with property rights and assets. In addition to the traditional role of division and distribution of assets in the event of divorce, pre-nups can also cover death, incapacity, estate planning, student debt, spousal support and other legal issues.

There are other reasons for a prenup. For example, what if one spouse has a child from a prior marriage and must provide support for that child from marital income? Divorce laws also vary state by state, so if you live in a state that has laws of equitable distribution, but you move to a community property state, it is important to protect your assets and instruct how they’ll be distributed.

When financial assets get commingled in marriage, it can get complicated. Buying a house together with just one person’s money, is deemed to be commingling. Starting a business together using one person’s capital is also commingling. Even transferring money more than a few times can constitute commingling. The longer you’ve been married, the more apt you are to commingle your assets and have non-marital assets become marital. As a result, they’re divisible assets.

But aren’t prenups just for rich people? No.

Many folks think of a prenuptial agreement, as only for those with substantial means to protect. This isn’t always true, as many millennial clients hire attorneys to assist them with a prenup to protect them from a future spouse’s student debt.

These couples have discussed their financial situations in detail, before hiring attorneys to draft a prenup. That makes for no unpleasant surprises.

Finally, you can get a prenup online, but you’re likely wasting your time and money. That’s because there are complex legal issues involved, and you need to understand your rights. An online approach is risky and may not be complete.

Reference: NBC News (April 12, 2019) “Prenuptial agreements: What is a prenup and should I get one?”