When it comes to planning a marriage, most people believe they will be with their future spouse for a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While skeptics believe signing or even discussing prenuptial agreements is akin to signing a death warrant on your marriage, this is not necessarily so. Not all marriages last a lifetime, and it is important to be realistic about that because a divorce can have major consequences not only for your emotional well-being, but also on your finances.
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Prenuptial agreements can also help couples going into their marriages with eyes-wide open which can make for a healthier, happier relationship. Here are three reasons a prenuptial agreement is beneficial.
Jump Start the Talk
We have all heard by now, that finances are the number one reason why couples divorce. Many couples are so caught up in being in love, planning the wedding and the happily ever after, that they ignore their partner’s spending habits, debt, and other issues.
Once you are married you and your partner will be bound to each other’s debts and other financial issues. Working on a prenuptial agreement allows both parties to be upfront about their total assets, debt, and what is expected if a divorce should occur.
This can be a time for couples to discuss how they plan on handling savings, investment, and retirement funds. This is extremely valuable information and a period in which you and your partner will be able to discern how different you are when it comes to finances and spending habits.
All of this is important to find out prior to becoming wedded to one another so that you can work through any financial disagreement before saying “I do.”
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Delayed or Second Marriages
Today, people are getting married later than ever before. Many are waiting until after they have completed their education and are secure in their career before settling down to get married.
This waiting usually means that either or both parties have accumulated some wealth in terms of savings, retirement funds and even property. If one or more party wants to protect the property and wealth they came into their marriage with, then a prenuptial can help protect these assets in the event of a divorce.
The same is true for someone who is going into a second marriage. Hopefully, this person has learned from the first time around and saw first-hand how a divorce can be very detrimental to one’s finances. Unfortunately, statistics also reveal that second marriages are often less likely to workout than first marriages.
Community Property States
There are some states, such as Texas and California, that are community property states. Community property means that in the event of a divorce, the total assets of the married couple are split in half, no matter what.
Thus, if you are someone who has inherited a home or property that has been in your family for generations, in the event of a divorce your ex-spouse could end up with the property or it may have to be sold to split the difference with your ex. To prevent things such as this from happening it is best to have a prenuptial agreement as well as to know the laws regarding divorce in the state you live.
Thinking about a prenuptial agreement while you are planning to spend the rest of your life with someone may seem like a drag, but it does not have to be. Being open and honest about your wants and concerns over finances can help establish means of communication that can last well into you married life. Open communication and a consensus on financial goals are more likely to make for a happier and longer lasting marriage.
Photo Credit: Orange County Divorce Attorney