You’ve decided that this girl is going to be your partner for life so should you get a prenup. You’ve gotten down on your knee, invested into the ring, and are getting ready to create your own happily ever after. Before you go through with the ceremony, however, there are important financial decisions to consider. Are you willing to combine all of your finances together with your partner? Are you willing to risk at least half of your current financial status should the unfortunate divorce occur in the future? Should you get a prenup for your upcoming marriage?
Marriages today can be very unpredictable. Virtually half of all marriages today will dissolve into divorce. When you and your future spouse agree upon what will happen to everyone’s finances before the wedding, you’ll have a level of consistency with your finances that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Most couples fight about money – a prenup takes the fight out of the equation. A marriage is considered to be a legal contract, just like any other business contract, in fact. That means a prenup isn’t about trust – it’s about security.
If you’ve got kids from a previous marriage or relationship, it is important to protect their best interests above anything else. The only way to protect their assets is through a prenup that specifically designates which assets are theirs. Even though no one really plans on a divorce as their getting married, you don’t want to let your kids be left hung out to dry either. Broach the subject with her as soon as you can, tell her it’s about the kids and not about her, and that your job as a father is to make sure they always have everything they need.
If you are the sole proprietor of your business and it is successful or it could be, then a prenup is probably a good choice. Under most tax laws, a spouse becomes a full partner within a sole proprietorship, meaning that upon a divorce, they’re entitled to half of your business venture. Even if you can save the business through a divorce, it could still end up dying because of the stigma a divorce has in certain social circles. To keep your business your own without a prenup, you’re going to be out a massive legal fee, have to go through arbitration, and negotiate an alternative settlement. That’s why a pre-nup makes sense here.
For some couples the prenup speaks to a complete lack of trust. Rather than ignore that feeling or put off the conversation, you could be looking at what life would be with your future spouse. If your relationship is going to be put on hold because of the idea of a prenup, then how else might you be held hostage once you’re married? It is better to find out before a wedding occurs if you’re going to end up being incompatible from a financial perspective. That will save you plenty of heartache and money later on in life.
Only you can decide if a prenup is right for you. If you have assets that you must protect, however, you must have a prenup.
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