The decision to create a prenup, or a prenuptial agreement, is a sensitive subject. Many people find them unromantic–to quote Charlotte from Sex and the City, “We haven’t even gotten married and we’re already talking about divorce.” However, a prenup may be very necessary depending on money and other assets, especially if one or both of you already went the “messy divorce” route. Let’s take a deeper look at prenuptial agreements, which will hopefully help you make a decision:
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is defined as a contract signed by both parties detailing property rights and alimony should divorce ever occur. State laws and courts accept such agreements, which is why they hold so much power. Signing a prenup means deciding in advance what tangible and intangible assets are considered martial and which aren’t, and how assets will be divided in a divorce. What prenups don’t cover is child care and custody, and anything else difficult for a court to enforce.
Yes, a prenup is obviously very unromantic. Suggesting the idea to your soon-to-be spouse can result in a big fight, especially if only one of you wants one. Arguments about the splitting of assets may follow, which detracts from planning the wedding and can put you at odds with each other. The other side is couples who wish to avoid conflict, and end up signing a contact that is in no way equitable.
You don’t have to be filthy rich to have a prenup. Getting married equals a merging of assets, and also means you take on each other’s debt. Protecting yourself via a prenup isn’t a terrible, horrible idea, and it can make one or both of you feel better if this is a second marriage and the first one ended horribly with a lot of court drama. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to ensure assets are divided equally should you end up divorcing, especially if you have children!
If you just don’t feel comfortable doing the prenup thing while planning your wedding, you can always opt for a postnup and take care of everything after your wedding and honeymoon. Postnups are also good ideas should your relationship change and you want to protect yourself.
Yes, the prenup talk probably isn’t going to be the best conversation you ever have with your future spouse. However, they are often highly beneficial and may even help you feel more secure in your relationship, as you have a cushion should the worst happen. Find a way to have the conversation with your fiancé if it’s something you’re considering, approach the subject tactfully, and go from there. It doesn’t have to end in a huge fight!