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Reasons To Obtain A Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, commonly called a "prenup," is an agreement made before marriage that details what will happen in the event of a divorce. It stipulates a set of conditions under which it can be made void, such as if one spouse cheats on the other or if one spouse is guilty of a crime, and it usually details property and finances that will be shared in the marriage.
Prenups are not always seen as the most romantic of documents, but for individuals with assets entering into second or third marriages or for individuals from wealthy families, a prenuptial agreement is often considered to be all but essential. A divorce is more likely to turn nasty if there is a lot at stake financially. Having it all in writing and agreed to beforehand may be the best way to avoid a bad situation. A marriage or divorce attorney can help you and your spouse develop a prenuptial agreement.
Why You Might Want A Prenuptial Agreement
- There is a large income or wealth disparity between you and your partner. In the case of a divorce, the poorer partner may want to take the wealth of the richer partner. Similarly, the richer partner may use his increased means to hire a divorce attorney to prevent the poorer partner from getting anything at all.
- You are remarrying. If you have children from a previous marriage, various support obligations and other assets or liabilities, you want to be sure that all of your family obligations will be met in the event of a divorce.
- Your partner has a high debt load. Even if your partner has money, he may saddle you with debts if you end up getting a divorce. A proper prenuptial agreement may prevent this from happening. This is also important if you separate or divorce and your ex-spouse goes bankrupt. A prenup will prevent creditors from contacting you for the money to make up for your ex-spouse's discharged debt.
- You own a business. Without a prenup, a divorce may result in the partial passage of ownership of your business to your ex-spouse. A prenuptial agreement can prevent your spouse from becoming an unwanted business partner or shareholder.
- You have a solid will and estate plan. A prenup ensures that a divorce will not threaten your estate after your death and, for instance, certain items, property and other assets will remain in your possession.
- You plan to quit your job to raise children with your spouse. A prenup will make sure that in the event of a divorce, your ex-spouse still pays for you to care for the children.
There are many reasons to get a prenup. Contact your lawyer today if you are considering this option before marriage.