Many people do not like to think about things like prenuptial agreements when they are planning their weddings but they can be very important to keeping their assets safe and separate from their partner’s. While there is a general ebb and flow when it comes to divorce rates in the United States, about 45% of all American first marriages end in divorce. Family law experts say that this is a reason all couples should investigate their options when it comes to drafting and signing prenuptial agreements.
According to reporting by Business Insiderandnbsp;looks at reasons people should look into having prenuptial agreements drawn up even when they do not think they will need them. They report that there are a lot of couples who eschew even talking about getting a prenuptial agreement because they feel that it is the same thing as planning for their marriages to fail. Family law experts say they worry that planning for the “worst case scenario” makes it more likely that it will happen and they want to go into their marriages with hope, not fears.
The coauthor of the new book, The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, Or Moving On!, Terry savage says that the real reason people should work on prenuptial agreements with lawyers before they get married is the process of working with a trusted attorney on these issues can improve and encourage open communication between the two people getting married.
“The point is to discuss and plan now, while you are most in love and most in tune with each other,” said Savage, “not later, when you need to argue it out, and these become power issues as much as financial or social issues.”
Most prenuptial agreements will set down the plan for the distribution of all of the assets that are brought into the marriage by bother parties and deal with any that are acquired after the two are joined by marriage. These also are there to plan for any debts or liabilities that are incurred during the length of the marriage.
Family law experts say that these agreements are important even for couples who are not wealthy.
“These days, with even lower income people coming into relationships with debt from college, credit cards, or obligations for child support, it might be wise to segregate these debt obligations and discuss whose income will be used to pay them, and whether that impacts the amount each will contribute to ongoing household expenses,” Savage said.
When marriages do break down, one of the hardest and most contentious things that divorce attorneys have to deal with is how to separate the couple’s finances. When money and anger mix, the result can be negotiations that are volatile and difficult for everyone. When there is a prenuptial agreement in place, a lot of those issues are effectively off the table and the couple can more easily dissolve their marriage and get on with their lives.
Money is not the only issue that can be handled with a well crafted prenuptial agreement. Often couples will include information about how they want their children to be raised. Some go as far as to determine what religion the children will be raised with. Some people say that having all of these decisions codified in writing gives them some additional peace of mind.
It is important that any couples who want to have a prenuptial agreement written up go to a lawyer. The laws that govern marriage and divorce issues vary from state to state and are complicated. Even for couples who were married in a community property state, such as California, can have prenuptial agreements that supercedes the state law. The agreement needs to be drafted correctly. Steven Spielberg tried to have a prenuptial agreement that was written on a napkin enforced but it was thrown out and he had to pay Amy Irving $100 million.
No one wants to think that they are going to get a divorce but many marriages do end this way, say family law experts. Even when couples do not end up signing prenuptial agreements, the process of drafting them can lead to improved communication.