When do you need to consider a prenuptial agreement? What are some of the issues a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” can and should address? Why is a prenuptial agreement beneficial for both parties prior to a marriage?
The most common scenario for a prenuptial agreement occurs when two people intend to get married but one of them has substantially more assets (or debts) than the other. For example, if one of the parties is an executive earning $750,000 a year and the other spouse-to-be earns $50,000 per year there is a genuine and substantial risk for the high income earner to consider as they contemplate marriage. Another common example of when you to need to consider a prenuptial agreement is the existence of a substantial family trust.
This is also true for a party with intellectual property (such as a composer, author, artist or software originator) or the owner of a business or professional practice. If you are considering marriage and have a substantial imbalance of assets or income you should consider a prenuptial agreement as part of your preparations for marriage.
The old myth and common misconception is asking for a prenuptial agreement is akin to expressing your expectation that the marriage will end in divorce. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Multiple studies have shown one of the strongest indicators of a successful marriage is the ability of the parties to honestly and openly identify and discuss challenges and work through them to a successful resolution. If one of the parties is unable or unwilling to discuss the realities associated with income and assets and how a prenuptial agreement helps to clearly establish the intentions of the parties prior to a marriage, that in and of itself is much more of an actual red flag about the relationship.
In some cases these can be challenging conversations. In many others the parties strengthen their relationship bonds as they discuss the issues at hand and work together to forge an agreement which honors not only the accomplishments of the parties prior to the marriage, but peace of mind as they begin their new life together.
If you feel you need to consider a prenuptial agreement or have been asked by your fiancé to consider it you would benefit from the experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd. We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.