Understanding the Pros & Cons of Prenuptial Agreements
There are a million things to do when planning a wedding. From finding a dress, to booking a venue, to deciding on the guest list, and more, planning a wedding can feel overwhelming. However, while these are important tasks, a wedding is just the first day of marriage. Preparing for a wedding is important, but in doing so, don’t forget to plan for what comes after marriage.
When two people decide to get married, there are much more consequential decisions you’ll have to make that will affect your lives. One option more and more couples are turning to help preempt conflict down the road is signing a marital agreement, commonly called a prenup.
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is an excellent way to make sure you and your new spouse are in agreement about major financial issues, but they also aren’t necessary for everyone. For help deciding if a prenup is right for you, reach out to our family law attorneys at The Torres Law Firm. Located in Corpus Christi, Texas, we also serve clients through the Dallas and Fort Worth area.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document that both spouses must agree to and sign before getting married that covers most financial concerns that come up during marriage and in the possibility of a divorce. In general, prenups cover issues such as:
Future alimony payments
Which assets should be considered separate or joint
Protection from becoming responsible for your spouse’s debt
However, a prenup cannot cover things like child custody or child support, as these concerns will be addressed at the time of the divorce with the overriding consideration always being the best interests of the child, not the financial preferences of the parents.
What are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Many couples can benefit from a marital agreement, and anyone who’s about to get married should consider the pros and cons of a prenup. A prenup is a great way to start honest conversations early in your relationship to ensure financial concerns don’t become bigger issues down the road.
To enter into an agreement like this, each spouse must fully disclose all of their financial details including all assets and debts. By getting this out in the open and coming to joint agreements before you get married, you’ll have peace of mind knowing what you can expect should the marriage end in divorce.
The primary benefit for most individuals is asset protection, especially if you’re coming into the marriage with a lot of individual or family wealth; however, prenups are also useful if this is your second marriage and you have children from a previous relationship. In these cases, you may wish to allocate certain assets to these children to guarantee their inheritance is protected. Individuals who are part of a family business also may benefit from a prenup that can stipulate who will share in the profits and losses of the company.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Of course, if you’re asking yourself, “Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?” you’ll want to look at the drawbacks as well. Many couples view prenups as unromantic and as an indication that you don’t fully trust your partner. While this doesn’t have to be true, you’ll still need to gauge the willingness of your future spouse to agree to it. It may cause hurt feelings. However, a prenup can be a great asset to strengthen your communication if you and your partner allow it to.
Also, a prenup can sometimes include attorney and court fees. If you find yourself unable to pay for those fees now, there are other options, such as creating a payment plan or getting a postnuptial agreement, which includes almost all the same topics as a prenup but is created after marriage.
Legal Guidance for Your Marriage
If you’re looking for a family law attorney in the Corpus Christi, Texas area, or through Dallas and Fort Worth, who can help you understand your choices when it comes to prenuptial agreements, look no further than The Torres Law Firm. Contact us today to get started.