A growing number of couples are signing prenuptial agreements before marriage. With 42 to 45 percent of U.S. marriages ending in divorce, it certainly isn’t a bad idea to protect your property and other personal assets. While a prenup isn’t the most romantic legal document, it can be helpful for a variety of reasons.
A prenuptial agreement, also known as a “prenup,” is a written contract made between a couple before marriage that outlines each party’s respective assets and debts. The purpose of this document is to define and specify each person’s property rights should the marriage fail due to a divorce or death of a spouse. Additionally, prenups can be used to outline terms of alimony/spousal support.
You don’t need to be wealthy or a celebrity to care about your possessions and who will receive them. Wills and prenuptial agreements are both used to put others on notice of what you own. The goal is to outline how a spouse wishes their estate (or property) to be distributed rather than leaving the decision up to the state.
Any couple with personal or business assets can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. In the event of a divorce or death of a spouse, a prenup ensures property remains in the possession of its original owner – versus being left to the decision of the state. Prenuptial agreements are also helpful for specifying any future income or assets accrued through inheritance you don’t want to be shared with your spouse if the marriage were to end.