Prenuptial Agreement Components: When people decide to get married, they don’t plan on getting divorced. But, unfortunately, some relationships do end and when they do, the division of assets can become a battleground.
You can protect yourself and your future spouse from such circumstances by creating a prenuptial agreement before you say your vows. A prenup doesn’t mean you’re planning for your marriage to fail.
It just means you’re taking prudent steps to protect yourself from the unknowns of life. The professionals at Simple Divorce explain what components to include in a prenup to make it ironclad.
Each person coming into the marriage has assets that they have accumulated over time.
While younger couples usually have fewer assets than older couples, that doesn’t negate the need for a prenuptial agreement, particularly if there are assets you definitely want to keep if the marriage dissolves.
A prenuptial agreement details the assets that each person brings into the marriage so they can be distinguished from assets obtained during the marriage that become marital assets.
A prenup will also include expected sole inheritances or gifts that one person will receive after the wedding that will remain individual assets even though they don’t actually receive them while they are single.
This stipulation protects assets that a person would bring into the marriage if they were old enough (in the case of a trust) or were the beneficiary of an inheritance from someone else who was still living.
Money is a major factor in any marriage, particularly how the couple is going to handle debt, whether that debt is from before or after the marriage.
If one or both of the spouses have debt before getting married, a prenup should specify who is responsible for those debts once they’re married.
In some cases, one spouse does not want to take on the debt of the other spouse, so this should be explicit in the prenuptial agreement.
It’s also a good idea at this time to discuss how marital debt will be addressed after you’re married. While it might be a difficult discussion to have, you’ll feel better about having a clear understanding of the expectations before entering into the marriage.
Spousal Support or Alimony
Typically, one person in a marriage earns more money than the other, which can lead to a disparity if the marriage dissolves.
You can head this off by stipulating how much alimony each spouse would be entitled to if the relationship ends. Agreeing to these amounts before you get married will prevent a fight if a divorce occurs.
Business Earnings and Retirement Accounts
Unless stipulated in a prenuptial agreement, business earnings and retirement accounts are considered marital property.
If you want these to remain separate in the event of a divorce, you have to detail what you want your spouse to receive if you split up.
For example, you may want your spouse to only receive a percentage of your business’s profits based on how long you’ve been married.
If your company grows significantly, you want to make sure you protect your profits in case of divorce.
Just because you and your soon-to-be spouse decide to protect yourself with a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed. In fact, making such an adult decision before you get married and discussing difficult subjects probably prepare you better for the challenges ahead.
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