Should you sign a prenup? The Money Couple was once against prenuptial agreements, but now believe they’re necessary. Here are their reasons couples should sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
“The reality is that 50% of marriages end in divorce,” say Scott and Bethany Palmer, authors of First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication. ”Couples who never dreamed their relationships could end find themselves at a crossroads and in a nasty bitter legal struggle with their, soon to be, ex-spouse.”
They used to be against prenuptial agreements because they believed prenups were a predisposition towards divorce. After advising hundreds of couples for a combined 40 years, they now realize prenuptial agreements can be very beneficial for some couples and their families.
3 Reasons to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement Before You Get Married
Guest Post – The Money Couple
Here are a few circumstances where prenuptial agreements are needed:
Family business - If there is a family business that your family is a part of, you need to protect it. We have seen family businesses head toward disaster when a couple parts ways. An ex-spouse could have legal part ownership in the business. The first reason to sign a prenup is that it will protect the business and your extended family. Your choice of a spouse should not affect your future and current livelihood.
Step Children - Not all blended families need a prenuptial agreement especially if the kids are younger. However, if your kids are older, you need to protect your kids and their financial future. We have seen kids lose college funds and family treasures in a nasty divorce. A prenuptial agreement may also help in a situation where your stepson won’t repay the money he borrowed.
Second Marriages - Often second marriages happen later in life. Although we believe that total transparency is needed and all ongoing finances should be married, for many couples past assets acquired need to be separate. One example of this would be a retirement account. This does not mean the spouse will not benefit from income from a retirement fund down the road, but, if a divorce does happen, you want to protect previous savings.
A reason to sign a prenuptial agreement is that it may set the stage for a successful second marriage.
Again, we are not saying that every couple should have a prenuptial agreement. Just be sure to consider if you should sign a renup. Remember, if you do talk to your potential spouse about this, be sensitive and take their money personality into account.
The number one cause for divorce is miscommunication about money. In most cases, it’s better to “get it all on the table.” versus waiting until it is to late – which is what a prenuptial agreement can do.
Are you setting yourself up for divorce by signing a prenup?
No. There are some very practical reasons to have a prenup in place! Prenuptial agreements set the stage for a successful marriage.
Here are some tips for having a positive prenup conversation with your fiance:
1. Set the tone – it is important to keep it positive – obviously with this type of conversation it is easy to become defensive. You can open the conversation like this: “I would never want money to come between us and ruin our relationship. Why don’t we explore some reasons to have a prenup. Let’s talk about the positive and negative aspects.”
2. Be sure to write out the positive and negative aspects to having a prenuptial agreement.
3. Once you have agreed upon a prenup, take these important steps:
- Be prepared – set your prenuptial agreement up a number of months before the wedding – wedding planning can be stressful, be sure have this done and out of the way.
- List all of your assets and liabilities – this can be a relationship saver because there will be no financial surprises.
- Set it up to strengthen the relationship – start your relationship out right, clear financial communication is key to making sure your love stays strong.
Remember, no two marriages are the same. You and your fiance need to have an honest discussion, and decide what is the best decision for you as a couple.
For more tips, read Finances for Engaged Couples – How to Talk Money Before Marriage.
What do you think – should you sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married?
For more info about the Palmers, visit The Money Couple.