Prenuptial agreements are like trusts are to estate plans. Almost everyone could benefit from them, but most people associate these specialized documents with the very wealthy rather than the average person.
There are numerous situations in which a middle-class American could benefit from signing a prenuptial agreement before they marry, including the three very common situations below.
The value of prenups if this isn’t your first marriage
Failure rates for first marriages hover around 50%, but statistics about second and subsequent marriages show a higher risk of divorce. You may appreciate how a prenuptial agreement could lead to a faster, uncontested divorce filing- especially if you have already endured the stress and expense of one before.
How prenups prove valuable if you inherited wealth
Did you inherit a substantial amount of money from your parents, or will you receive significant assets in the future? Although your inheritance is separate property, commingling it with household resources could lead to your spouse staking a claim to it in a divorce.
You can protect both your existing and any future inheritance by designating it as separate property in a prenuptial agreement. You can also do the same thing with any major assets that you own coming into your marriage, including a house or business.
Prenups serve a purpose in a conflict-prone relationship
People can make relationships work even when issues like alcoholism or infidelity have affected them in the past. A prenuptial agreement can protect a husband or wife from suffering financial consequences due to their spouse’s misconduct, such as addictions and other problematic behaviors. Such an agreement may even impose a penalty if a divorce results from all this.
While you want your marriage to work, you also want to protect yourself. Asking for a prenuptial agreement could set you up for greater stability during marriage and if you have to file for divorce.