While prenups might not be the most fun thing to talk about, especially as a wedding date approaches, they’re an important way to aim for financial security (and avoid any potential headaches) later in life. A prior agreement helps make sure that both spouses are on the same page and can help to avoid and messy situations later.
A prenuptial agreement is a document that a couple will decide and agree upon before a marriage takes place. It essentially lists out what happens financially in the case of divorce. While the word might sound scary or ‘kill the excitement’ or a new marriage, it shouldn’t. It is simply a way to take the emotional energy our of splitting finances, property, and debt in the case of divorce.
Why Get a Prenup
There are several reasons to think about signing a prenup before the big day.
- Debt. If one spouse has way more debt coming in to the marriage than the other it is a good idea to sign a prenup. If a divorce happens in the future, a prenup saves the other spouse from having to deal with that.
- Wealth. Similarly, if one spouse is bringing a signifiant amount of money into the relationship, a prenup is a good idea too. Signing a prenup in this case allows the wealthier spouse to protect their assets in the case of marital deterioration.
- Prior Marriage. If one person has children, child support, or other issues from a previous relationship that they’ll be bringing into this one, it will be good to ensure that, if a divorce happens, the other spouse isn’t saddled with this responsibility.
- Small business owners. A signed agreement beforehand can protect your business in the case of divorce.
- Short engagements. Whether personal or cultural reasons, some couples get married rather quickly. In this case, it’s even more important to sign a prenup, since you may not know what you’re getting into financially or otherwise beforehand.
Things to Keep in Mind
Make sure your prenup is fair. For a prenup to be acceptable it has to be fair to both spouses. One spouse can’t acquire all marital wealth or property in the case of a divorce, and one shouldn’t be left with all the debt (unless they brought said debt into the marriage).
They’re a good thing. A prenup can be really helpful in detangling the mess that can come with a dissolving marriage. By talking things through beforehand, it can even strengthen a marriage by encouraging open communication of assets and expectations.
Washington State Courts have extensive files on divorce in our state. Visit their site for resources on divorce in Washington.
Need help creating your prenup? The Narrows Law Group specializes in family and marital law. Give us a call today to get started.