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What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Prenuptial Agreement?

Published on June 30th, 2021

Family Law Lawyer

Family Law Lawyer

Couples who choose to enter pre-nuptial agreements agree to specific terms when their marriage ends. Although no one likes the idea of joining a union with the thought of it ending, anyone with substantial resources and obligations should consider the advantages and disadvantages of these binding legal contracts.

What Exactly Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement or prenup is a formal contract that spouses enter into before marriage. Its purpose is to protect each others’ interests during and after marriage. Prenups can address multiple scenarios, including:

  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment

The goal of a prenup is to avoid potential emotional trauma and minimize financial loss that can happen during asset distribution when a marriage ends.

What Are The Benefits of Prenups?

Prenups can include various provisions to avoid potential acrimony among spouses or family members. Among the benefits of having a prenup are:

  • Distinguishment between personal and marital assets:  A prenup that separates the assets spouses bring into a marriage from those they acquire during the marriage can affect how the state determines property distribution upon divorce. 
  • Protection for children from a previous marriage:  Upon a spouse’s death, the surviving spouse usually attains sole rights to all assets from the union. As a result, children from a previous marriage may not receive an inheritance unless a  prenup exists to override state law, making provisions for children or others.
  • Protection for a pre-existing business: A prenup may protect a business someone starts before marriage from a former spouse’s future involvement and access to profits.
  • Management and relinquishment of debt. Financial incompatibility is a significant factor leading to divorce. Spouses who enter marriages knowing that their partners are financially irresponsible may consider a prenup to avoid debt responsibility upon divorce.
  • Safeguard property for a birth family. A prenup can ensure that future generations of the same family do not lose homes, art, or other property in a divorce.

What Are The Downsides of Prenups?

Although prenups can address many practical matters, they can still lead to conflicts before and after marriage. For instance, when one partner enters the marriage with significantly more assets than the other, the person with fewer assets may feel that the other is mistrustful as a lawyer, like a family law lawyer from a firm like Farkas & Crowley, PA, can explain. In addition, having a prenup does not guarantee that both parties will accurately and honestly disclose their assets. As a result, court battles may be unavoidable.

When you and your spouse want to plan for any potential scenarios involving your upcoming marriage, contact a knowledgeable family law lawyer to learn if a prenuptial agreement is suitable for you.

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