Of the many things to discuss and consider in the planning of a wedding, a pre-nuptial agreement is not always something that immediately comes to mind. However, in many cases it should.
There are several scenarios where a pre-nuptial agreement would be beneficial. If one of the following applies to you and you are getting married, you may want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement:
- If you have a child from a prior relationship and want to preserve some of your assets for that child
- If either party owns a business or is in a partnership or has some type of business ownership
- If either party is in line for an inheritance or has specific estate planning goals that includes someone other than a spouse
- One party is much wealthier or has a much greater income than the other
- One party is in much greater debt than the other
- One party may pursue an advanced degree during the marriage
- One party owns real estate prior to marriage
There are pros and cons to a pre-nuptial agreement.
The cons are that talking about these issues is not romantic and it can place a damper on the wedding plans, sometimes causing bad feelings between the parties and their families.
The pros are that you can designate what is separate and what is marital property, assign debt, and validate your estate planning. You cannot contract for custody or child support because that is against public policy. You can specify how you would like your assets and debts to be divided in the event of a divorce and avoid a potential legal battle in the future.