If you are trying to decide whether to bring up the subject of a prenuptial agreement with your fiancée, you have come to the right place. If not handled properly, asking for a prenup can insert discord into a relationship. Considering the issue carefully and handling it well can help preserve—or even strengthen—your relationship.
There are clear advantages to having a prenuptial agreement, but there may also be disadvantages. This article will help you clarify the most important considerations for you and your relationship.
Cons of Having a Prenuptial Agreement
1. Trust Issues
Prenuptial agreements make many people uncomfortable. For some people, the idea that they would need to agree with their partner about to how to handle problems before problems even develop seems distrustful.
2. It can be uncomfortable
Financial discussions can be uncomfortable also, especially if there is a disparity in the parties’ income or if one person has substantial debt.
3. Cost involved in having a prenuptial agreement
Professionally developed prenuptial agreements also come with a cost. Paying for the time of a licensed, experienced attorney is not cheap and can increase the financial strain on a couple.
Despite these disadvantages, prenuptial agreements come with many advantages that can help to build trust.
Pros of Having a Prenuptial Agreement
1. Facilitates effective communication
Effective communication is one of the central foundations of a successful marriage. All couples go through trying times, and central to their ability to survive and thrive is their skill in communicating openly about difficult issues, such as financial matters.
2. Expectations are put on table in advance
It is much easier to meet expectations when you know what they are. In fact, that’s one reason performance appraisals are used on-the-job. The performance appraisal process clarifies expectations and priorities for employees, who are better able to meet standards when they are aware of them.
3. Ensures there are no problems in future
The same is true in marriage. Opening an honest discussion about difficult issues puts the important issues on the table, ensuring that no one is caught off guard later in the relationship.
4. No financial secrets
One of the core aspects of a valid prenuptial agreement is full disclosure of income, assets, and liabilities by both partners. The result of full disclosure is that the couple has no financial secrets.
Each party knows what the other has and what he or she expects.
After full disclosure is made, the couple can proactively address potential future issues such as these:
- how children from a prior marriage will be treated if the couple later separates or divorces or if one spouse dies;
- whether any business interests will be remain the separate property of one spouse or will be considered marital property;
- whether pre-existing assets and debts will be treated as separate or marital in nature; and
- whether spousal support will be paid should the couple later separate or divorce and, if so, in what amount.
Determining how to handle issues like these in advance of marriage can help set expectations for both parties and can help mitigate the cost of future disagreements on difficult issues.
By discussing tough issues like these early on, a couple can set the tone for open communication during their marriage. For additional help deciding whether a prenuptial agreement is best in your situation, contact a licensed, experienced lawyer in your state.