How Prenups Can Be Quite Revealing About Your Future Mate
Some people are shocked when their intended spouse suggests that they enter into a prenuptial agreement. They may think that the only people who get prenups are the ones who don't have much faith in their relationship.
The reverse typically is true. People have many reasons for wanting a prenup, but these often boil down to wanting to protect themselves and their partner. Prenups protect both parties because they are thoughtful, fair and carefully considered. They settle potentially acrimonious questions long before they might arise, and they also teach you a great deal about your chosen partner.
Drafting a prenuptial agreement requires that both parties participate in an in-depth discussion of their personal finances and ideas and goals for their future. This may sound surprising, but many couples don't have any critical discussions about finances before they marry. After the ceremony, one or both may receive unpleasant shocks as they slowly learn about each other's financial reality and the way they interact with money.
Negotiating the terms of a prenup will have both parties revealing their debts and assets. Did you know that your partner has more than $30,000 in student loan debt? Does your partner know that you had massive medical bills that went to collections three years ago? What about family heirlooms? Do you or your future spouse have a valuable possession that needs to be safeguarded in the event of a separation? Did you know that your partner wants to relocate to another state or another country in the next year or two? Or after a child is born?
All of these things and more are likely to come up as you discuss the terms of your prenup. Additional items that may be included in such an agreement may relate to any children you have and your outlook on future earnings. Did you know that your future spouse expects to be a stay-at-home parent? How might that affect your family's financial outlook, especially in the event of a divorce? Do you want to make special provisions for spousal support or child support?
What are each of your intentions regarding the transfer of assets upon death? Do either of you intend to keep your assets in your family, giving it to siblings and other relatives, rather than to your spouse? How will you each provide for each other in the event of premature death? How would that impact where you live and the ability of the survivor of you to continue to reside in the marital residence in the event that the other is no longer able to contribute financially to the household?
Admittedly, all of these financial and family-related topics can be extremely sensitive. Rather than seeing this as just a stressful exercise, think of it as a gift. This is an opportunity for the two of you to get out in the open your most fundamental beliefs and expectations regarding family and money, and you're doing it before you get married.
This means you have a chance to see where you're on the same page, and where compromise is required. To learn more, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.