If you’ve suffered from a nasty divorce in the past and are looking to get remarried, the prospect of marriage can cause a lot of anxiety surrounding your finances. Enter prenups: the remedy to relieve that anxiety and equip you with a safety net.
As a divorce lawyer in Los Angeles, I’ve assisted with my fair share of celebrity prenups. Many people are starting to realize, however, that prenups aren’t reserved for celebrities and the fabulously wealthy. A lot of couples (those who have been previously married and first-timers) have found that there are many benefits to getting a prenup before saying, “I do”.
What is a prenup?
A prenup is a contract that the soon-to-be spouses’ sign that defines their respective property rights and other financial rights/obligations once they get married, and also if in the event of a divorce. Child custody and child support issues are not usually included (but can be impacted so be cautious).
Who should get one?
Anyone with something to lose. A lot of individuals simply want to start out their married life without concerns or resentment about financial fairness. Some individuals get a prenup in order to protect family business interests. Some are business owners who need to keep operations predictable for the sake of their employees and management. Others are individuals who have been married before and need to be assured that their retirement is safe, no matter what happens.
Pros of a Prenup
There is security that comes when you know that your assets are protected. This security allows you to start your marriage confident in your love and devotion to each other, without looking over your shoulder too much.
One of the main points of a prenup is to avoid the emotional/financial cost of litigation. If the contract spells out what is to happen in the event of a divorce, there’s a lot less to fight about. Hopefully, you then get to keep more of what the lawyers would otherwise get!
Think of a prenup like life insurance: you obviously hope and plan that your family never has to cash it in, but the peace of mind that you get from having a safety net for your family is worth its weight in gold.
Cons of a Prenup
Talking through difficult issues without the benefit of a crystal ball can be tricky. The best prenups attempt to address issues that might not come up for years or even decades, if at all. These conversations can be more difficult than talking about your estate plan. Death is certain; divorce is common, but not for sure.
Cracks in the relationship can start showing when the word “prenup” is put out there, but most couples come out of it stronger and with a better understanding of themselves and their relationship.
Who is Doing it These Days?
Everybody. Simple prenups are not especially expensive (just don’t use an online form). Shop around and talk to attorneys in your area to find out their rates and expertise.
Should Millennials Consider Getting A Prenup?
From my experience, millennials generally look at the world as unstable and uncertain, even if they are successful. More than ever, the world can change in an instant. A prenup often brings a sense of comfort and peace of mind about the future in an increasingly shaky world. The cold hard reality is that almost 50% of marriages end in divorce- regardless of if you are a millennial, a boomer, or gen xer. Millennials can benefit from prenups just as much as anyone. Divorce is hard enough without being overwhelmed about your financial future and how much you’ll have to pay to get through it.
How to talk to your partner about it?
Be upfront about your needs and how it might help you both. And since it takes two to tango, don’t be afraid to be honest about fears and concerns about the future if you might be the one who is left to pick up the pieces. These honest conversations can strengthen the bonds of your new family in ways that will give you an advantage as you travel down your life path together.