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Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

  • Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?

    Prenuptial agreements are for every couple to consider, not just the rich and famous. Particularly for older couples or couples who already have children, every couple is unique, and the decision should be based on your circumstances.    

    Check the pros and cons of prenuptial agreements listed below to decide if such an arrangement is right for you.    

    Pros Of A Prenuptial Agreement

    • To document and protect each spouse’s property and safeguard it as a separate property.
    • To avoid court involvement in property distribution.
    • To detail and document special arrangements between your spouse
    • To establish what is marital and what is community property
    • To avoid disagreements and extensive court proceeding if there is a divorce
    • Assigning debt liability such as credit card debt, mortgages, and student loans

    People sometimes fear that the idea and discussion of a prenuptial agreement may cause problems and anxiety in the relationship. The opposite is often true on account of one of the main factors leading to divorce is financial difficulties. To avoid many disagreements in financial affairs, property, and marital asset management talk to your spouse ahead of time.

    Cons Of A Prenuptial Agreement

    There are some downsides to consider a prenuptial agreement before creating one.

    • It is not romantic. If the discussion of finance & property distribution and the possibility of divorce will harm the relationship in some way, the prenuptial agreement may not be the right thing to do.
    • The timing may be wrong. If discussing the issues involved in a prenuptial agreement at the beginning of marriage may crush the time of marital bliss, then this may not be right for you.
    • After the wedding, an agreement can be made and is called a postnup. Be sure to consult a lawyer before creating one since the legalities and enforcement issues vary.
    • It is possible there are state laws that cover every issue you want to address without needing a prenuptial agreement. Different states have legislation in place that decides how property is distributed in case of divorce.
    • Child support and child custody may not be included in a prenup. The court will have the final say based on what is in the best interest of the child.
    • The prenup will not include personal preferences such as where to spend holidays, household chores and where the children will go to school. Prenuptial agreements are designed solely for financial issues. If a judge viewed private domestic matters in the contract, it may be considered to be frivolous and be denied.

    Evaluate your Situation

    After reviewing the pros and cons, consider your particular situation to determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.

    A Prenuptial Agreement Survey

    • Do you own property or real estate?
    • Do you have over than $50,000 in assets besides the property?
    • Do you earn $100,000 a year or more?
    • Do you own a business (or a portion of one)?
    • Do you or your spouse plan to go to school while the other works?
    • Do you have over one year’s worth of retirement benefits?
    • Do you have benefits such as stock options or profit sharing from your employer?
    • Does a part of your estate name any beneficiaries or heirs other than your partner?

    If you (or your spouse) answered yes to one or more of these questions, considering a prenuptial agreement is possibly in your best interest. If you answered no to all of them, then a prenup is probably not needed, but could still be beneficial to protect your current or future assets.

    Evaluate your Comfort Level

    After considering whether you need a prenuptial agreement and what issues should be covered in your prenup, decide how comfortable you are with the idea. Become knowledgeable with your state laws to determine if you will need a prenuptial agreement in Alpharetta.

    Often people are afraid to discuss the idea of a prenuptial agreement with their partner because it might upset or offend them. The truth is that the issues covered in a prenup will need to be talked about with or without a prenup. Be completely honest with your spouse. Tell your spouse that it is a difficult task, but that important issues do have to be decided on at some point and can be done so in a respectful manner. Some people even use a third party professional, like a counselor, to help them sort through these issues in a loving way.

    On the flip side, if you do not want a prenup, but your spouse does, use this opportunity to discuss difficult topics that are relevant to the relationship.

    If you decide on a prenup or not, it can be a useful communication tool and an excellent opportunity to discover what each other’s needs and desires are.

    Contact your an experienced family attorney in Alpharetta today to determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your partner.