A prenuptial agreement before the wedding is the only way to move forward, given that divorce rates are rising at lightning speed. It no longer sends a bad sign or is considered to be unromantic, in fact, prenuptial agreements represent practicality and maturity in every relationship in today’s world.
Post-2017, 63% of divorce lawyers reported a rise in a prenuptial agreement, indicating that it is a requirement to secure your assets before saying ‘I do.”
In this article, we’ll discuss essential factors to consider regarding men’s and women’s rights for prenuptial agreements.
The Importance of a Prenup
Before you wonder how to get a prenup agreement, you must know what it is. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by both parties before the marriage to secure and fairly protect their assets and belongings in case of a divorce. Read more articles online for more information on what a prenup is.
The good news is that prenups are becoming more widely accepted in most countries. However, divorces are still considered to be a societal stigma. Moreover, prenuptial agreements can often make marriages look like financial transactions, which is why some couples hesitate to opt for prenups.
There is a misconception that prenups should only be considered if one of the parties is wealthy. Prenups play a far more crucial role than this – it does the job of protecting you from a complicated divorce that can end up costing you a lot more than you own.
Back in the day, the most common scenario of a prenup was between a wealthy man and a trophy wife. Now the tables have turned; women can own, buy, and manage homes, businesses, and much more independently. Hence, women entering into marriages with assets need to consider prenups more than ever.
Factors To Consider
Here’s a list of factors to consider when signing a prenup to ensure that you secure your assets properly.
1. Premarital Assets
A premarital property or asset is any property that either party brings into the marriage. If you are a homeowner or own any property before your marriage and wish to live in it or use it to rent it out, it is considered a premarital property or asset.
You could both be living in it, but there’s no rule for you to change or transfer ownership of your property. You are not entitled to declare it as shared property. You bought it, and it remains yours, which also applies to your retirement as well.
If you own a bank account where the value of your rental property gets accumulated, include it in a prenup to keep it secured too.
Silly, but real. During the wedding or even prior to it, it is common to receive and give gifts to each other. They can include expensive items like jewelry, cars, etc. Make sure you declare all the gifts that belong to you, as otherwise, during a divorce, it may be considered during equitable distribution.
3. Full Disclosure is Mandatory
Both parties need to disclose all their assets fully. You also have to consider each party’s net worth, including expected inheritance, before your sign off the contract.
It is not unusual for rich and famous people to miraculously inherit money from their rich parents and uncles. So you must consider these factors while signing a prenup.
This is the spousal support that is party specific. It depends on what role women intend to play in the marriage. If they are homemakers, or stay-at-home parents, sacrificing their work life to manage their homes, then the man is bound to pay that specific amount for alimony. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that; you could be at home taking a step down to look after your kids while your husband’s career takes off.
For women, it is essential to talk about what you’re giving up and be compensated for it in alimony, on top of additional equitable distribution. Remember that agreeing to your desired amount of alimony does not mean that you’re not entitled to further distribution of assets.
5. Have Your Own Lawyer
Don’t try to do it yourself, chances are you’ll always leave out something that will cost you much more than your lawyer’s fees. You need a lawyer to draft your prenup. Get an attorney with expertise in family law to walk you through all the pros and cons of signing a prenup.
When To Consider A Prenup?
When you feel you have reached a point in your relationship where you are comfortable discussing wealth and assets. Frank conversations often make prenuptial discussions easier. It is probably the least ideal to discuss it when you are going through a rough patch. But it definitely should be done before agreeing to marry each other. In fact, we say that the prenup should be at the top of the wedding checklist.
In most cases, the wealthier party initiates a prenup draft by retaining an attorney to look after it. Then the other partner gets their own attorney to negotiate terms and conditions.
It is also important to identify and declare that both parties agree to all the clauses legally, without committing fraud or under any influence that is unacceptable to the court.
Any prenup that fails to fulfill legal terms and conditions will be rejected by the court, which means you’ll have to go through the process again. Hence, it’s best to get a family lawyer who can guide you in the right direction.
Lastly, before taking your prenup to court, you should sit with your partner and attorneys representing both parties to review it thoroughly. You should remind yourself that a prenup does not mean you’ll not have a happy or successful marriage. You’re only taking precautions.
Remember, courts will pick up on the most minor errors and scrutinize you for not being careful. If you are considering a prenup, we highly recommend you look up top-notch family lawyers near you or experienced prenup attorneys to take this alliance forward. Good luck!