A misconception about prenuptial agreements is that they are just for rich people. In actuality, a prenuptial makes sense for regular people, too. If you are engaged and considering a prenup, here is what you need to know.
Why Should You Get a Prenuptial?
One of the best reasons to get a prenuptial agreement is to protect both spouse's assets. Even if you and your future spouse do not currently have many assets, you still might want an agreement. In the event that either spouse has a significant increase in income later, his or her assets can be protected if there is a divorce.
Another reason is that a prenup can often simplify the divorce process. Obviously, you do not want to enter your marriage planning for your divorce, but the agreement has nothing to do with your love or commitment to each other. If you and your spouse do divorce, the prenup can help create the blueprint for the divorce decree and allow both partners to exit the marriage with as little animosity as possible.
Do You Need Legal Help?
Although there are online resources you can use to create a prenuptial agreement, you and your intended should consult with an attorney. An attorney can ensure that every aspect is covered and that the prenuptial is sound so that if you and your spouse do divorce, there will be little room for contention.
Ideally, you and your intended should each have your own legal representation. You want to ensure that each person has someone who is vested in the best interests of his or her client.
What Should be in Your Prenuptial?
Since prenuptials can cover a lot of ground, it might seem like a good idea to address as much as you can in the agreement. Unfortunately, this could draw out the amount of time it takes to get the agreement completed and possibly lead to hard feelings. You and your intended should focus on the largest assets and potential assets now.
For instance, big assets such as the family home should be decided on now, but child custody and support cannot be determined in a prenuptial. Regardless of whether or not you and your intended have children now, it is an issue that must be settled at the time of the divorce. However, you can work out components of estate planning, such as what happens with retirement funds and alimony.
Your attorney can help ensure that your interests are fully covered in the agreement. To get the best results, work with a family law attorney from the beginning of the discussion.