Should I have a prenuptial agreement with my future spouse?

The answer to this depends on your specific circumstances, and on the two of you as individuals. Financial planners and divorce attorneys argue that prenuptial agreements should be considered if any of the following particulars apply:

  • there are children involved from a previous marriage,
  • there is an individual ownership of a business or family company,
  • there are significant individual assets
  • substantially unequal income between parties, or
  • there is a concern about a future spouse’s personal debt. Since laws about what constitute marital property and what governs the division of assets after marriage varies from state to state, a prenuptial agreement can work as a legal protection mechanism for both parties.

Often, prenuptial agreements are misunderstood. It is argued that prenuptial agreements are an attack on trust, or evidence that financial matters outweigh the presence of love in a marriage. This is not necessarily true. Most prenuptial agreements are made by couples who have children or grandchildren from prior marriages and want to ensure that individual property such as businesses or estates pass down to the family rather than the spouse. Regardless of the circumstances, prenuptial agreements are a comprehensive decision, and should be approached bereft to emotion misconceptions.