A prenuptial agreement is a common sense document that allows spouses to feel a sense of freedom from worry as they enter into what is a legally binding arrangement, albeit a romantic one as well, to spend their lives together. However, there are financial implications of marriage, and so the wedding signifies more than just love. It also signifies the unification of any assets, debts, properties and businesses, to name some of the most salient of the items it covers.
Prenuptial agreements are subject to many myths and misconceptions. One of the misunderstood aspects of why a prenup is so important, is that it also outlines what will happen in the event of one of the spouses passing away unexpectedly. Many couples opt to obtain a prenuptial agreement when they decide to purchase life insurance policies, as they decide on the amount of the policy and are discussing other financial planning matters, it seems to follow sensibly that they will also have a prenuptial agreement to outline the terms of the policies and what will happen in the event of misfortune.
Myths and misunderstanding should not take the value from what is a proper next step in your future with your soon to be spouse. You and your partner each deserve to protect your assets that you have worked so hard for.
Many people believe, wrongly, that a prenuptial agreement is put in place to favor one spouse over the other, particularly the spouse who is wealthier at the time of marriage. In actuality, the prenup does the exact opposite. The prenuptial agreement is all about the couple agreeing upon what is fair in the event of the unexpected termination of the marriage. Fair allocation agreed upon by both partners actually prevents one partner from “taking him/her to the cleaners”, so to speak, in the end. It ensures that the eventual outcome consists of terms that are deemed fair to both parties, by both parties.
If you leave this open to the courts in the end, the spouse entering with less wealth and assets may come away with next to nothing, yes. One cannot anticipate what a judge will decide in the event of a divorce. However, while you and your partner are in a good place, this is the best time to have the discussion about what ‘fair allocation’ means to you as a couple. This leaves less to argue about in the event of a split because, after all, you and your partner created the agreement together. This is why it is so vital that the document is something you discuss openly and honestly. Ask questions of our licensed New York prenuptial agreement attorneys if you have them; our staff attorneys are here to assist you with any issues that arise during the preparation of your document.
It can’t be overstated that the nature of prenuptial agreements is to provide peace of mind. This is not about being pessimistic, it is about being realistic, and prepared, and allowing you and your partner the ability to enter into the marriage free of the burden of worry over any ‘what ifs’.
There is a difference between being safe and conservative, and being pessimistic. It is all a state of mind – your peace of mind.