Some important financial decisions need to be made before you get hitched. One is whether you should get a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”). A Prenup isn’t the most romantic issue to discuss, mainly because these agreements usually focus on what will happen in the event of the marriage ending. However, in many cases, having tough conversations about the practical side of marriage can bring you and your spouse closer together.
JP Morgan’s recent article entitled “What to know about prenups before getting married” explains that preparing a prenup that makes both people feel comfortable can be an excellent foundation for building a financially healthy and emotionally healthy marriage.
A prenup is a contract that two people enter before getting married. The terms outlined in a prenup supersede default marital laws, which would otherwise determine what happens if a couple gets divorced or one person dies. Prenups can cover:
- How property, retirement benefits, and savings will be divided if a marriage ends;
- If and how one person in the couple is allowed to seek alimony (financial support from a spouse); and
- If one person in a couple goes bankrupt.
Prenups can be helpful for people in many different income brackets. If you or your future spouse has significant debt or assets, it’s probably wise to have a prenup. They can also be helpful if you (or your spouse) have a stake in a business, have children from another marriage, or have financial agreements with an ex-spouse.
First, have an open and honest conversation with your spouse-to-be. Next, talk to an attorney, and make sure they understand you and your fiancé’s unique goals for your prenup. You and your partner will then compile your financial information; your attorney will negotiate and draft your prenup, and you’ll review it and sign it.
Remember that a prenup can be a valuable resource for couples in many different circumstances.
It might feel overwhelming to discuss a prenup with your fiancé, but doing this in a non-emotional, organized way can save a lot of strife in the future and could help bring you closer together ahead of your big day.
Reference: JP Morgan (April 4, 2022) “What to know about prenups before getting married.”