08 Feb 10 Facts About Prenups
You are in love and it is wonderful. You are engaged and planning the wedding of your dreams.
When your mind is in wedded bliss, the thought that something could possibly not go as planned down the road is the furthest thing from your mind.
The future is unpredictable and tends to favor the prepared. A wise couple has the ability to create a simple roadmap of expectations should the unfortunate occur.
What Is A Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement -commonly known as a prenup – is simply a contract for an engaged couple that outlines the expectations for what will happen to your property, assets, and income during the marriage and in the event of a divorce or death.
While this conversation may be an uncomfortable one while the relationship is healthy, it will save a lot of time and money, should the need to use it ever arise.
10 Myths And Facts About A Prenup
Keep these 10 things in mind when considering whether you want a prenuptial agreement.
1. FACT: Without a prenup you are at the mercy of Family Court.
When you get a divorce from your spouse, generally, your case will be heard in family court in the state of your residence, and that state’s law will apply.
Unless your case is uncontested and there are no disagreements, property rights upon divorce, alimony rights upon divorce, and property rights upon death benefits will likely be fought out in a protracted legal battle.
A divorce is messy enough already. A prenup will spare you this legal battle.
2. FACT: You don’t have to be rich to have a prenup.
Don’t only rich people need prenups? No, that is a common misconception. Prenups can benefit anyone from wealthy to moderate means.
Consider the following scenarios:
- An entrepreneur who created a new business that may or may not take off, but she wants to maintain possession over all income it yields.
- A writer who wants to keep all royalties to his book no matter how large or small.
- A couple who agrees that any family gifts that are given to the future wife shall remain the wife’s and those given to the future husband shall remain the husband’s.
These all sound like everyday people, right? You don’t need a lot of wealth for a prenup to save a lot of heartache.
3. FACT: Prenups can set expectations for what happens to pets
Our pets are often as dear a member of the family as a child. By law, pets are considered property and are treated as such without a prenup.
Avoid fights over who gets the family pet. A prenuptial agreement can help establish the forever home for your furry friend.
4. FACT: Prenups do not expire unless you want them to
Sometimes we hear about a married couple having a prenuptial agreement, but all the entitlements that a spouse would have had expired because the couple put those terms in the agreement.
Did you know you could set an expiration date? You can and in some cases it is useful.
For example, a couple can agree that on a date in the future he wife will no longer be entitled to alimony or part of the husband’s business profits.
5. MYTH: The fiancé(e) with less money will have to sign away their entitlement to their fiancé(e)’s assets and property
Generally – you get what you agree to.
If you are the future wife and you and your future husband agree that you will not waive your rights to alimony should the marriage end, then you do not have to.
This applies to many other rights and entitlements one would otherwise have under the law as well.
6. FACT: You cannot agree to remove your potential future child support obligation
Family courts retain jurisdiction to decide matters over child support.
This makes practical sense because there are several factors that go into determining a child support obligation that cannot be predetermined.
7. FACT: You cannot provide for who gets custody of your children
Family courts retain jurisdiction over child custody just like child support. However, a prenuptial agreement can allow a couple to express their intentions.
Given the unforeseen variables that may come into the couple’s lives over the years, it may not be practical to set up expectations for such an emotional issue as custody over children.
8. FACT: You might have to ratify the agreement after the initial execution
Prenuptial agreements can make provisions for the amount of retirement that the future spouse will be entitled to, if any. The provision, however, will not be ripe for execution until the couple is married.
This type of provision will require that the couple remembers to execute this provision after the wedding.
9. FACT: It is not too late to have an agreement made once you’re married
A prenuptial agreement is appropriate before marriage. That is why “pre” is in the prefix.
After marriage, provisions for property rights upon divorce, alimony rights upon divorce, and property rights upon death benefits can be established if the couple never obtained a prenuptial agreement.
The agreement after marriage are called a postnuptial agreement.
10. FACT: It may be wise to include a social media clause
In the digital world we live in, including a social media clause has become an increasingly wise consideration.
You can include a social media clause to prevent your spouse from posting information about you that might embarrass you or have some other negative impact.
This video explains more.
Getting married and want to learn more about prenuptial agreements? Contact us today!