Ever wonder why so many people say, “I hope they had a prenup”? Maybe you heard it referring to celebrities. Or maybe you heard someone utter that when Jeff Bezos divorced his wife. The classic conception of prenuptial agreements is that it’s only for the rich, but we are here to tell you, that is simply not true. Every couple should get one and here is why.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
First off, a prenuptial agreement is a written document that is created by a couple before they are married. The agreement permits them to control their legal rights during the marriage, but more importantly allows them to plan ahead in case of a divorce or death to a spouse. Prenuptial agreements exhibit the drafters intent and thus will prohibit the default rules of NY from determining key aspects of your property in the event of a divorce.
Default rules will inevitably control your division of property, retirement benefits, savings, child support, alimony, and much more.
Why Should I Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
There are a variety of reasons why you should get a prenuptial agreement. Here are just a few of those reasons:
1. Avoid arguments in the case of divorce
Divorce can get ugly. We have all witnessed them on television, in movies, from people you know, or even possibly yourself. Thus, when you are getting ready to marry your significant other, you should seriously consider a prenuptial agreement. In the agreement, you can specify how you want your property to be divided and what to do with various aspects of your lives including savings, retirement benefits, etc. This will save you and your ex-spouse, dreadful arguments over property and finances that are unnecessary during those stressful stages of your life.
2. Get protections from debts
A prenuptial agreement can also shield you from the debts of your spouse. Essentially, the prenuptial agreement will protect creditors from pursuing the debts of the deceased spouse from the surviving spouse.
3. Establish your financial rights
The prenuptial agreement can even document the financial rights of each spouse. On top of their financial rights, you can even include financial and general responsibilities of each spouse. You can also protect the financial well-being of others through the agreement. For example, if one spouse has children from a prior marriage, they may protect them in the agreement. One spouse can specify that if they die, part of their property will go to their surviving children, including the children from a prior marriage.
4. Preserve your legacy
The prenuptial agreement could act as a way to safeguard all your family heirlooms as they pass down generation to generation. Thus the agreement can act as a way to keep the family together through cherished belongings.
What happens if you don’t get a Prenuptial Agreement?
So is it a big deal if you never get around to creating a prenuptial agreement? The honest answer is: yes.
If you do not create a prenuptial agreement, the default rules of NY will determine how your property, retirement benefits, savings, and much more will be split between you and your ex-spouse in the event of a divorce. In some instances, the default rules will not be favorable to you. Are you willing to lose a family heirloom to your ex spouse? Are you willing to lose full control of your business?
In addition, in some instances a spouse may pass away prematurely. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, marital assets will still be subject to the default rules of NY as they would be in the event of a divorce. Therefore, you may still lose control of your beloved family heirloom or business. A well-drafted will on the part of the premature spouse would supersede the default rules of NY, however if your premature spouse did not create a will, then you are out of luck and cannot avoid the default laws.
What are the considerations against drafting a prenuptial agreement?
Here at JustLaw, we don’t just present you with one side of the argument. We want you to feel that you take everything into consideration before you make a decision.
Thus you should understand that making a prenuptial agreement may not be easy. It could drive couples apart. It may divide you and your significant other apart because it is essentially a document that is used to protect yourself in a divorce.
Moreover, if you and your spouse do not have a lot of assets, then a prenuptial agreement may not make sense. This is because there wouldn’t be much to put in the prenup if you don’t have any valuable assets.
Drafting a prenuptial agreement truly depends on your individual circumstances. Therefore, speak to a JustLaw attorney and determine whether you should get a prenuptial agreement!
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There you have it. Just another article of your friends at JustLaw trying to help you and your future out. Hope this helps!