Prenuptial agreement – just saying the two words aloud can kill the mood in a room. As contractual agreements go, nothing has the possibility of generating more marital arguments and eviscerated feelings than a ‘prenup.’ Why it happens is more so less irrelevant to the overarching goal of protecting assets and finances in the event of the marriage’s dissolution. Since roughly 50 percent of all nuptials end in divorce in the United States, have a contractual agreement in place prior to tying the knot has enumerated benefits, even if it may generate hurt feelings in the short term. Our New Jersey family law lawyers tell you why a prenuptial agreement is essential for your new marriage in ways you make not expect.
Your New Spouse Has a Lot of Debt
When you marry, you’re not only combining the two of you as people, but also as credit ratings and debt loads. If your new spouse has a massive chunk of debt weighing them down, the creditors could become your responsibility during a divorce settlement. That alone could ruin your finances and allow your soon-to-be ex-spouse a free pass on half of their debt. A prenuptial agreement carves up the debt before the marriage happens, which allows you to keep your credit rating largely intact during the dissolution process.
It’s Your Second Marriage
Your financial state entering a second or third marriage is likely much different from the situation you were in when you first married. Income could be higher, you could own property, and the last thing you want is to see your new marriage be the catalyst for losing all that you’ve worked so hard to gain. The agreement you enter into can allow parties – you and your new spouse – to keep what you both bring to the marriage in terms of assets and finances. It streamlines the divorce process, something our New Jersey attorneys always recommend.
Protecting Your Estate Plan
Want to keep priceless heirlooms in your family? Sign a prenuptial agreement. Without a signed prenup’ you’re risking your ex-spouse seizing assets and items that have been in your family for generations during the divorce. Armed with such an agreement, you can keep your grandmother’s wedding ring in the family, along with your great uncle’s dining room furniture.
Protecting an Existing Business
A business is usually a casualty of a divorce because the court ends up dividing the company between the spouses. If you have a business when you’re married, you need to protect it with a prenuptial agreement. Otherwise, your spouse could end up owning part of it, enough that any division by the court could cause your company to fold. Think of your employees and draft a contract to keep the company in your name only.
Marriage is of course about the union of two people and their families into a loving couple first. It’s a life changing experience, though the dissolution of that union can lead to something that’s altogether life shattering. A prenuptial agreement isn’t an indication that a marriage will fail, but a prudent means of protecting both you and your new spouse should the worst happen. If you have questions, please contact our firm today to discuss your legal options.