If you look through any marriage advice column or tabloid, you’ll see that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements get a bad rap. Most commonly, you’ll see marriage advice "experts" writing things like "why would you prepare to get divorced before you even tie the knot?
However, modern views on pre and postnups seem to be shifting. Today, millennials are much more likely to get prenups than previous generations—and with good reason. Pre and postnups can be an effective way to ensure your marriage is more equitable and help you prepare for the future.
Why Do Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Have a Bad Reputation?
Let’s discuss why prenups have a bad reputation for a moment.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements almost always contain stipulations about what would happen if a couple were to separate or divorce (like how they would divide marital assets, for example).
Because of this, many people assume that getting a prenup indicates you or your spouse don’t think your marriage will last—but that’s not necessarily true. Realistically, pre and postnups have a variety of uses, and can be great tools for creating a more equitable union. Let’s explore how.
Prenups Can Help You Separate Finances
Sharing finances isn’t always a wise choice in a marriage. Depending on whether there’s a significant income disparity in your relationship or one partner has issues with the other’s spending habits, you may want to keep your expenses separate.
Having separate finances can make it easier to track spending, which can be useful come tax season if you choose to file separately. If you choose to itemize certain costs, like healthcare expenses, separating finances can also make that simpler.
You Want to Protect Your Partner from Liabilities
Around 80% of Americans have some sort of debt they’re working through. For many, it’s student loans—for others, it’s credit card-related. Whatever the case, failing to separate finances also means taking on each other’s debts. If you do end up separating or getting divorced later down the line, that can mean inheriting some of your partner’s liabilities—something most people aren’t exactly keen on.
In a prenup or postnup, you can specify that debts remain separate property for each party. Additionally, you can also specify that if you make a poor financial decision—like a risky investment—that results in debt, your partner doesn’t have to shoulder the burden of that liability.
You Want to Establish Power of Attorney
You can establish Power of Attorney using a prenup, which dictates what kind of care you receive if you become medically incapacitated. This feature alone may make it worth getting a pre or postnup, allowing you to ensure you maintain a good quality of life if you suffer from a medical accident.
You Want to Learn More About Your Partner
Getting a prenup involves being honest with your partner about things many couples don’t discuss openly or honestly, such as finances. Amazingly, around 34% of cohabiting American couples can’t identify how much their partner makes.
Getting a pre or postnup forces you to honestly evaluate your finances with your partner, which can be a blessing in disguise. It may make you uncomfortable, but opening up a dialogue about it now can facilitate a more open, honest relationship heading into your marriage. It enables you to lay the foundation for handling monetary issues in a healthy way, which is something many married couples struggle with.
Contrary to popular opinion, getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you forge a stronger bond with your partner—which is one reason we’re proud to offer pre and postnup services here at Alternative Divorce Solutions.
To schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about how we can help you develop a comprehensive, equitable prenuptial agreement with your partner, contact us online or via phone at (949) 558-2624.