10 Prenuptial Agreement Pros and Cons
A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a “prenup” is a contract that couples sign before they get married in order to protect their assets. What can be covered in a prenuptial agreement varies widely, it can include property dividing, spousal support, custody agreements, and even who will get the dog. Along with who gets what, they can also agree to certain circumstances where all assets are given up, like adultery. While prenuptial agreements are meant to protect the couples individual well being, they can also give a death sentence to something that has not even started yet. People that oppose prenups believe that they are setting up the marriage for failure, while people that support the use of premarital agreements believe it is a way to safeguard yourself in a world filled with ugly divorces. In order to better understand prenuptial agreements and why so many people choose to use them, you must understand all of the pros and cons.
Pros of Prenuptial Agreements
1. Protects Your Finances
This is unarguably the biggest reason that majority of people decide to use prenuptial agreements. It allows you to protect your financial assets, like property and savings, in the event of a divorce. Traditionally, when a married couple divorces they split everything straight down the middle, with prenups that is completely different. It keeps the partner who owns the majority of the assets from losing their lively hood.
2. Outlines Spousal Support
In many instances, one spouse is partially or fully supported by the other. This can make divorce a life shattering event for the person being supported, they are left out to dry with no means of getting on their feet on their own. Prenups allow spousal support to be outlined ahead of time, meaning that a certain amount of money will be given for living expenses and to maintain the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.
3. Prevents Conflict Later
It is no secret that divorces are often messy and heartbreaking ordeals. Ending a marriage is never a fun or pleasant thing, but it only gets worse when you begin savagely fighting over who gets what. Prenuptial agreements prevent this from happening, since everything is laid out and agreed upon before the couple is even married.
4. Intentions Show
Many would be marriages have not happened after seeing their partner’s side of the prenup. The true intentions of people can be shown through these contracts. If the person you want to marry would not help you or give you a dime in the event of a divorce, that may not be the person you want to be with.
5. Protects The Children
Prenuptial agreements protect the inheritance and other financial assets that are meant for children from a previous marriage. This prevents them from being robbed of what is rightfully theirs in the event of a divorce.
6. Debt Agreements
When people get divorced they do not only have to split up the assets, but the debt as well. Often times this will go 50/50, which could be very bad if one spouse has significantly more debt than the other. Premarital agreements outline the percentage of debt that will be split, or if it will be split at all.
Cons of Prenuptial Agreements
1. Setting Up For Divorce
The biggest issue with prenuptial agreements is that they are setting up the marriage to fail by preparing for a divorce before you are married. This gives the notion that divorce is going to happen eventually, and makes it much easier and less scary to jump straight to divorce. Ending the marriage may be used as a weapon on the person who is on non-receiving end of the contract.
2. Blinded By Love
In the “honeymoon” phase of a relationship people are often not thinking completely clearly. Prenups that are signed just after an engagement can include things that are damaging to one person, but they cannot see this and go ahead and sign it because they are so in love with the other person it doesn’t matter to them…now.
3. You Can’t Predict The Future
There is no way to know what is the best choice years, or even decades, down the road. These prenuptial agreements, which may seem completely logical at the time, could become a very large burden later on. Especially in the event of a spouses death.
4. Unequal Pull
The reason for a prenuptial agreement is generally because one spouse is much wealthier than the other. This gives that person much more power with the prenuptial agreement terms, which is often very unfair to the other person.