5 Benefits of Having a Premarital Agreement
Premarital – aka “prenuptial” – agreements are usually only discussed when famous or wealthy people are in the news for an impending divorce. In these cases, the discussion will focus on how much of the fortune one spouse will keep from the other. While this is one purpose of the premarital agreement, these agreements do not deserve their bad reputation. Here’s why:
They Protect Your Assets
Couples who are first starting out may scoff at the notion of having assets to protect or necessarily wanting to keep anything separate from their spouse. However, there are situations where a premarital agreement can be extremely helpful in keeping the separate property separate. For example, one spouse may be set to inherit an interest in family land that is specifically reserved only for descendants by blood, not by marriage. A premarital agreement can carve out the interest of the spouse in this family land from the community assets so that there is no question in the event of a dissolution of the marriage that this interest belongs solely to that spouse.
They Are Very Helpful in Second Marriages
Individuals who have acquired a great deal of assets through hard work, inheritance, prior marriage, or a combination of these things, may not necessarily want to share them with a future spouse who may also be equally well situated. This is particularly relevant when there are children of the first marriage who are protected in the will of the mother or father and there is no need to provide financial support or protection to the new spouse.
They Can Make Divorce Easier
No one goes into a marriage thinking that they will divorce, but 41% of first marriages will go bust, 60% of second marriages will end in divorce, and a whopping 73% of third marriages will hit the rocks. It may seem cynical to have a premarital agreement for first, second, third, or even fourth marriages, but the statistics are such that it makes sense. Also, having a premarital agreement that spells out who gets what in a divorce can make a difficult process infinitely easier for all parties and take the stressful arguing completely off the table.
They Can Make You Think of Solutions Before You Hit the Problems
For some couples, negotiating a premarital agreement can help them tackle problems before they exist and find solutions that are mutually agreeable and workable. For example, parties can determine ahead of time whether an inheritance to one spouse will be considered part of the joint tenancy or be considered the separate property of the spouse. This prevents awkward conversations when the loved one who is bestowing the inheritance dies and allows the receiving spouse to not worry about this added layer of questions about their inheritance.
You Can Designate Property to Be Separate or Community
Typically, when two parties marry and become spouses, everything that is born of that community – wages, earnings, lottery winnings, debts, and property – are automatically made part of the community. In other words, what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours. However, a premarital agreement can make it clear that certain property stays the sole property of the spouse who brought it to the marriage and is off-limits to ownership by the other spouse in case of a divorce.
ZafiroLaw Can Help With Your Premarital Agreement
Premarital agreements are not terrible documents designed to leave divorcing spouses penniless on the streets. Most premarital agreements are thoughtfully constructed documents with a specific purpose that serves to strengthen the relationship between the future spouses. If you are interested in a premarital agreement, ZafiroLaw provides these services and many more. Contact us today at 206-547-9906 to get started or check our family law page to see how we can help.