Getting Married? Why a Prenup is Advisable

People who are contemplating marriage often debate whether or not to arrange for a prenuptial agreement.  It’s a moot point for the couple that’s just starting out together since they probably don’t have any assets to protect.  But for the adult that has worked hard and made significant financial gains, or the person looking to inherit a substantial amount of money, a prenuptial agreement could be in order as a means of protecting the money and holdings that they’re bringing into the marriage.  Nobody wants to believe that their loving relationship is going to end in divorce, but it happens every day.  And with feelings hurt on both sides, it’s not surprising that the spurned spouse often seeks monetary restitution.  So if you’ve got something worth protecting, here are a few reasons you should seek a prenuptial agreement.

  1. Gold diggers.  Some women and men are looking for a meal ticket more than a soul mate.  But unless your ideal spouse happens to be a trophy wife (or husband), you probably want something more than a person who treats you like an ATM.  By forcing a prenup on your would-be spouse, you’ll probably weed out the undesirables pretty quickly.  Anyone who stays will do so with the full knowledge that a divorce will end with little or no restitution, giving pause to the gold digger that’s looking for a payday.
  2. Spiteful spouses.  Someone is bound to be hurt by a divorce, especially someone who has pledged their life to you only to be spurned.  Of course, you might decide that the person you once loved is deserving of a portion of the money you have, but then again, you might not.  Better to have the option to magnanimously award funds when you don’t have to rather than being forced to give up what you’ve worked so hard for when your soon-to-be-ex decides to milk you for everything you’re worth.
  3. What’s yours is yours.  If you’re wealthy in your own right, due to hard work, ingenuity, and so forth, then there’s absolutely no reason you should have to give up anything you’ve gained simply because of a divorce.  Of course, while you’re married, you’ll certainly want to share with the person you love, which is why prenups can be such a touchy subject.  But the truth is, if you’re not going to spend the rest of your life with this person (and you just don’t know it yet), you shouldn’t have to pay for him/her to be happy with someone else.
  4. Family matters.  Not all wealth is earned; some is inherited.  And if you think that your family is going to happily go along with you getting married without a prenup that protects their assets, you might find that you’re sorely mistaken.  Likely your parents and siblings will want the money to stay with the family rather than being split up.  So while they’ll almost certainly go along with you making accommodations for kids that result from the relationship, they probably won’t be so keen to see half of your fortune going to an ex-spouse.
  5. Starting over is hard enough.  Whether the decision to divorce is yours, your spouse’s, or a mutual agreement, you’re probably going to have to deal with some amount of heartbreak in the process.  And you don’t want to make matters worse with an ugly battle over money.  With a prenup you hold all the cards.  So if you want to award some money to your ex, you can probably smooth out the proceedings.  But if you’d rather your spouse leave penniless, you have that option, as well.

Emma Martin writes for the Law Office of Corboy and Demetrio, a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Illinois.

One Response to Getting Married? Why a Prenup is Advisable

  1. Devin says:

    Prenups are definitely a good idea, but people should realize they are not ironclad contracts. In Western common law jurisdictions, they can be invalidated relatively easily. A spiteful spouse could have a prenuptial successfully challenged and struck down by arguing the agreement was not fairly entered into, that assets were not disclosed, etc. Getting a competent lawyer when drafting a prenup is important, and can make it harder for the contract to be scrutinized later on. Also, international prenuptial agreements can get really messy, because of the conflicting laws in different countries. Expats should definitely seek competent legal advice from an experienced lawyer if they want their agreement to be recognized in other countries.

    Source: Thailand prenuptial lawyer

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