When you think of prenuptial agreements, you may think of documents reserved for rich people. While many celebrities and business owners do have prenups, there are also people with a lot less money who have them.
A prenuptial agreement serves as insurance for your marriage. It’s an important investment in your marriage, no matter who you are or what you have. You may not have a lot of money or assets now, but things change over time. You may get a six-figure job. Your business may take off. You may receive an inheritance or win the lottery. You may suddenly come into money and have a need to protect yourself.
Prenuptial agreements can help in this regard. They may seem unromantic but it’s important to have financial discussions before you get married. Experts say that if your partner won’t consider a prenup, it’s a red flag. Read on to learn more about what these legal documents can and cannot do.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Can Do
Prenuptial agreements are good for financial issues. They can protect money, retirement funds, real estate, expensive sports cars, boats, vacation homes, family heirlooms, artwork, collections, and other assets acquired before marriage. They can also outline what will happen to possible inheritances, your spouse’s debt and any financial obligations should a divorce occur.
Prenuptial agreements are also helpful for the following situations:
- You have significant assets. A divorce can greatly affect your finances. You could lose half of everything in a divorce, so if you’re a millionaire, you definitely want to ensure your money and assets are protected just in case. You may be a romantic and swear you and your spouse will be together forever, but let’s be real — half of all marriages do end in divorce.
- You own a business. Whether you open a business before you are married or open one soon after getting married, it’s a good idea to keep these types of finances separate. Having a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement (a prenup created after you are married) in place can help keep your business as separate property.
- You have children from a previous marriage. Once you get married, your spouse is legally entitled to your inheritance. If you have children from a previous relationship, you can use a prenup to ensure that your children get the inheritance that you desire for them to have. That way, your new spouse won’t get everything.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Cannot Do
A prenuptial agreement cannot do everything. It cannot cover anything unrelated to finances, like requiring your partner to appear a certain way, unreasonable living conditions, or relationships outside the marriage. It cannot force a spouse to do anything illegal or cover household chores and other obligations. You cannot use a prenup to demand things from your spouse while in the marriage such as date nights or sex.
It’s also important to understand that a prenup also cannot cover anything related to child custody, visitation, or support because those rights are guided by Ohio state law. The court makes decisions on these things based on the best interests of the child.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
That depends. Millions of people get married every year and the majority of couples don’t need one. They come into the marriage with very few assets and there’s not a lot at stake.
On the other hand, more and more millennials are waiting to get married. They may not walk
down the aisle until they are in their 30s. By then, they are often coming into marriages with more and more assets. So whether or not a prenuptial agreement is needed depends on each person’s individual situation.
If you decide not to get a prenuptial agreement, the good news is that you can change your mind later. Even after you get married, you can technically get a prenup. But by then, it becomes a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement works the same way as a prenup; the only difference is when it is done.
So if you start a business or receive an inheritance after you are already married, you can work with a lawyer to get a postnuptial agreement. You can outline what will happen to your assets in the event of a divorce. Whether you get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, these documents are great ways to protect yourself.
Contact Us Today
There are some situations in which a person could definitely benefit from a prenuptial agreement. If you are concerned about your assets, see how a prenup can protect you. The Columbus divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office can help you execute an agreement that accomplishes your goals. This will prevent a nasty divorce. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling 614-228-3664.