People often assume prenuptial agreements are for the ultra-rich, and these contracts do not apply to them. Without question, people of substantial means use these agreements to protect their wealth. However, anyone from any social class can benefit from a prenup.
Here are some ways a prenuptial contract can benefit your marriage, even if you have an average income.
Prenups Can Determine the Rules of the Marriage
Love can certainly sustain a marriage, and it can help people weather many storms. However, love alone does not make any relationship easier.
People often begin a marriage idealistically. They believe their love will solve any problem, and it will be easy to figure everything out as you go along. Then, as they live their day-to-day lives, they realize that they haven’t sufficiently planned for the mechanics of the marriage. Simple things like whose job it is to do the dishes can become big problems.
A prenup can help you bypass these issues. You can decide, on paper, who will do what in the marriage. One spouse can be responsible for the bills while the other takes care of the cleaning. Both spouses can be responsible for disciplining the children, while only one has final say over educational matters. You can put anything that is important to you into the contract. This will alleviate the “figure it out as you go” that causes problems in so many marriages.
Prenups Can Keep Your Property Separate
Generally, anything you purchase while married becomes part of the overall marital assets. This means that any video game, magazine, or t-shirt you buy technically belongs to your spouse as well.
In many cases, this is not a problem. You bought the house together, and you share the cars. Being joint owners is no big deal.
If you, however, are a collector, joint ownership becomes an issue. Imagine you have a huge vinyl record collection, one you’ve amassed since your teens. Technically, your spouse owns any new record you buy during the marriage.
A prenup can determine which property will always belong to just one person, helping avoid legal complexities if necessary.
Prenups Can Set Aside Money
Prenuptial contracts often protect someone’s wealth, but they can also determine how the money is spent. You and your spouse can decide now how the family income is used, and put it in writing.
This can also apply to savings, investments, college funds, and so on. Using a premarital agreement, you can designate money for a specific purpose and make sure that neither party can dip into these funds.
Prenups Can Help You Plan for the Worst
No one likes thinking about the potential breakup of their marriage, but realistically, it can happen to anyone. Current statistics put the divorce rate at about 50%.
Using a prenuptial agreement, you can make decisions now that could ease a possible trauma later. You can decide how you will manage asset division, support, and so forth, should the marriage end.
Using a premarital contract, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Best of all, you can change them later if necessary. Regardless of your economic standing, you should consider creating such a document. If you are already married, you can create a post-marital contract, which performs the same function. Doing so can help free you of the minutia of normal married life and allow you to focus on what’s important, your relationship.
Our firm is here to help couples craft solid, lasting, and beneficial marital contracts. For a free consultation, contact us online or call (515) 200-7571 today.