When to consider a prenuptial agreement

Sharman L. Brooks

While it isn’t the most romantic aspect of planning a wedding, today, more and more partners opt to sign prenuptial agreements before they walk down the aisle. No one wants to believe their marriage will end in divorce. Still, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is an essential step toward protecting your finances and property no matter what happens later on in life.

1. One partner has more money or assets

Perhaps one of the most common reasons couples get a prenup is when one person has significantly more wealth or assets than the other. While you can usually keep the assets you owned before entering into your marriage, there can be exceptions. Additionally, if you make less money than your spouse, it’s a good idea to ensure you’ll have financial support in the event of divorce.

2. One partner raises the kids

After a divorce, it can be especially challenging for a stay-at-home parent to find steady employment or reenter the workforce. If you or your spouse dedicates their time to raising your children, a prenuptial agreement can lay out a plan for what you will receive from your marriage to maintain your lifestyle.

3. One partner has significant debt

Without a prenup, you could end up responsible for paying off a portion of your spouse’s debts if your marriage ends. If you or your partner is drowning in overwhelming student loans or credit card debt, a prenup is a must-have to protect yourself and your post-divorce finances.

4. You own pets together

If you’re like most pet owners, you probably see your animals more as children than as property you own. A prenuptial agreement can prevent you from spending a great deal of time and money fighting over things like who gets custody of your pet in case of divorce or separation.

Though once considered taboo, prenuptial agreements are a wise thing to have if you have assets you want to protect. It may not be an easy conversation to have with your partner, but open communication and planning before you tie the knot can strengthen your relationship and ensure you don’t run into problems down the road.

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