Many couples cringe at the thought of getting a prenuptial agreement before they get married because love shouldn’t be ‘tarnished’ by the discussion of money. However, a prenuptial agreement can actually prevent many money arguments, and protect both your properties and your sanity! Plus, having a clear and binding document that lays all your cards on the table is possibly the only way that you can keep your love ‘pure.’ The prenuptial agreement takes care of the issue of money, so you and your partner can focus, 100%, on building a stronger and happier marriage.
Money and marriage
The law treats marriage as an equal economic partnership. Any assets you acquire during your union is considered joint or community property, and you have right to 50% of each other’s income.
Not all couples think that this is fair. What happens when one person has a family inheritance? Or earns more money? Or how do you quantify the economic investment of a wife who gives up her career—and potential earnings and opportunities—to take care of the kids? How does she protect herself if the marriage is dissolved? These are some of the concerns that, if left undiscussed, can cause couples to fight over money.
A prenuptial agreement allows you to create provisions for division of property, spousal support, or other considerations.
Don’t feel guilty about asking for a prenuptial agreement!
Many people feel uncomfortable about asking for a prenuptial agreement. They think, ‘I’m assuming the marriage isn’t going to work, even before we tied the knot!’ But that’s not the way it goes. Think of prenuptial agreement as reminding yourself and your partner to wear a seatbelt in the car. You’re not assuming that you’re going to get into an accident, but you’re simply protecting each other—and that’s what loving partners do.
Prenuptial agreements can also be the basis for working out any problems you may have over money—and most couples encounter one issue or another. It’s like having an instruction manual for the DVD player. You may never need to look at it, but it’s good to have it around if there’s a problem.
Agreements in a prenuptial agreement
A prenuptial agreement can list any properties you may have had before the marriage, its worth, and how those properties will be divided. It is also possible to make any provisions for financial plans like trust funds for children’s education.
It is important to work out the details in the prenuptial agreement because under law the ‘absolute community of property’ (or in layman’s terms, ‘what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours’) begins the very second that you exchange your vows. But, if you are already married and would like to create a document that’s similar to a prenuptial agreement in terms of purpose and protection, you can file for a judicial separation of property.
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