Marrying Your Best Friend? You Still Need a Prenup. Here’s Why!

Lindsay M. Harris, JD
Prenuptial marriage agreement Harris Law Co

We have all heard reasons why an engaged couple does not need a prenup. “They’re happy and in love. There is no way they will ever get divorced.” The ending of a marriage can’t always be predicted (especially before it begins), and none of us has a crystal ball. While the happy couple may canoodle as though they’re in a scene from a 90’s romantic comedy, consider a marriage is a contract. Do you know the terms?

Times Have Changed

  • People are getting married later in life, after they are more likely to have acquired some assets that would need protection, such as real estate or a 401(k).
  • With an increase in divorce rates over the last few decades, more people are entering into second or third marriages. If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement in place before getting married, a judge may determine how your assets are divided (even assets you had before you got married!).
  • Having a prenuptial agreement that you and your fiancée both considered and agreed to will allow you to make financial decisions for yourselves, rather than have them decided for you.  

Protection

  • Protect children from previous relationships. Did you know without an agreement in place your new spouse has a better right to inherit from you than your children?
  • Protect your business from unwanted owners and forced sales. One of the quickest ways to destroy a business is to force a buyout or sale during a divorce. Do you want to run your business with your business partner’s ex-spouse? Do they want to run it with yours? 
  • Protect potential future inheritances. Your prenup can protect any future inheritance you receive to ensure the assets stay in your family line and don’t go to your spouse and his/her new spouse. Further, it can help you retain your separate property rights over the property—you can decide what to do with the inheritance, not your spouse.
  • Protect yourself from crushing debt. What happens if you have more debts than assets – what if your partner has more debts than assets? Protection from your spouse’s debt is another good reason to have a prenup.
  • Protect your lifestyle from the Nursing Home. Prenups are just used in divorce. They can set up separate property rights that prevent one spouse from being legally obligated to pay for the other spouse.

A respectful, truthful, and caring prenuptial agreement can make each partner feel secure about the financial security of your family.  A prenup is certainly something you hope you never need but reassuring if you do. If you would like to visit with an attorney about adding that extra layer of financial security, call us to set up a free consultation at 605.777.1772 or email us at info@harrislawco.com. Prenups are sexy. Time to get yours in place.

*This blog is for general informational purposes and is not intended to give legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about your situation.

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