The actual definition of the word “marriage” is different in different countries, cultures, and areas of the world. The broadest and most common definition is a formally and or legally recognized union of two people committed to each other as partners in a relationship. While most people view marriage as a romantic relationship between two people, the truth is a good argument can be made that it is just as much a business relationship as it is a romantic one. As the number of people who view a marriage as both a romantic and a business partnership increases, so does the number of married couples getting prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement is completed by a couple before marriage to protect each spouse’s financial assets and interests. Like most things, a prenuptial agreement has both positive and negative outcomes.
There can be various pros and cons of entering into a prenuptial agreement. Here is a list of some of the more relevant pros and cons:
- A prenuptial agreement has the ability to take spending habits into consideration. In the event of a divorce, if one spouse spends money irresponsibly while the other spouse is much more frugal and responsible with their spending habits, a prenuptial agreement can protect the spouse who saved money by not penalizing them for their spouse’s carless spending habits.
- A prenuptial agreement can protect the financial interest and stability of your children. Without a prenuptial agreement, your spouse can receive property, money, and other assets that were intended for your children. If a marriage creates a blended family, a prenuptial agreement can help stop your spouse from claiming assets for his or her own kids instead of your children.
- Prenuptial agreements have the power to plan and shape future spousal support. In States where The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act of 1983 law applies, couples can use a prenuptial agreement to form a basis for spousal support in the event of a future divorce.
- If one or both of the spouses owns their own business or professional practice, a prenuptial agreement can protect that interest so that the practice or business cannot be divided and subject to the control and or involvement of the former spouse.
- Often times a marriage will end and one spouse will have significantly more debt then the other spouse. A prenuptial agreement can protect the spouse with less or no debt from being forced to undertake the other spouse’s debts.
- A prenuptial agreement can guarantee that if a spouse gives up a lucrative career as a result of the marriage he or she will be fairly compensated for that sacrifice of earnings if the marriage does not last.
- Prenuptial agreements can significantly reduce future conflict resulting from a divorce. Since a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that dictates how certain marital issues will be handled in the event of a divorce, the possibility of future conflict resulting from aforementioned issues.
- Some see the crafting of a prenuptial agreement as an implication that the marriage is not viewed as something that will last forever. Because prenuptial agreements are only used when a marriage fails, creating one can send the wrong message that there is a strong possibility the marriage will eventually end with divorce.
- In some circumstances, a prenuptial agreement can dictate a change in one’s lifestyle. Since a prenuptial agreement outlines the division of property and assets, it can also guarantee that a portion of your financial wealth go to your spouse and or children. Often people do not take into account the fact that this means you will usually have a significantly lower amount of funds after a divorce to maintain your accustomed lifestyle.
- At the end of the day a prenuptial agreement is still subject to the opinion of a judge. Even if you and your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement together, if the agreement is later taken to court, a judge will decide how valid and reasonable every clause on the agreement is before making their final ruling.
- Prenuptial agreements force you to give up your right to inherit from your spouse’s estate when they die. Without a prenuptial agreement, the law states that you are entitled to at least a portion of the state even if your spouse has not included such a provision in their will.
- Often times it is difficult to plan into the future concerning how conceivable disputes should be handled. Sometimes what seems like an inconsequential compromise in the beginning stages of a relationship may become more prodigious and problematic later on in the marriage.
A couple that is thinking about marriage should sit down and weigh the different pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement. Discuss which pros and cons your think are more relevant to your relationship and come to a decision on if a prenuptial agreement would be more potentially beneficially or harmful to your future marriage. If you are having a difficult time coming to a decision, or if you and your future spouse conclude that you want a prenuptial agreement, hiring an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer can help with the process.