Reasons Why Every Couple Benefits from a Prenup
The Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis explains how even people of regular means should consider a marital contract.
Prenuptial Agreements: Not Just for the Wealthy
More middle-class Americans are recognizing the importance of prenuptial agreements for their finances and much more.
Are considering whether a prenuptial contract is right for your upcoming marriage? If you are in a normal, middle-class household, the thought may not have ever occurred to you.
You may be surprised to learn that prenups are no longer for the upper class alone. More middle-class Americans are recognizing the importance of hammering out their financial arrangements before a marriage. Moreover, they are discovering that these contracts can apply to much more than finances.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial contract is a legal document that a couple signs before getting married. They go by many names, such as marital contracts, premarital contracts, martial agreements, prenups, and more.
Traditionally, prenups outline financial matters such as:
- Physical property
- Money for the children
- Determining which property will be marital or separate
- Pre-determinations on how to handle finances should the marriage end in divorce
How Does a Prenup Help the Average American?
For many, it thinking about all this property and money seems unromantic. There are several good reasons, however, to make plans for your finances, even if you have average means. It gives each spouse peace of mind knowing they will be protected if the worst happens. This peace of mind helps everyone. In fact, it may be even more beneficial for people who aren’t bursting with excess wealth.
Prenuptial agreements can put spouses on equal footing, regardless of financial status. Not only do primatial contracts protect each partner's long-term interests, but they also allow for greater transparency. Each partner plays a more well-defined role in financial decisions, leading to shared responsibility and understanding of the household’s needs and resources.
Setting ground rules helps couples openly communicate their expectations right away. Money is one of the most hotly debated topics within a marriage. Knowing exactly what to expect beforehand allows couples to focus on what’s important, the relationship.
The Process of Creating Your Marital Contract
If you're considering a prenuptial agreement, it is best to start talking to your partner about it now. Explain why you think it would be a good idea, and work together to make the process comfortable for everyone. Make sure to tell them how the contract is good for them as well. You don’t want to be selfish in this situation.
It may help to find a mediator who specializes in prenups. You can both meet with an attorney to learn more. They can help explain how these agreements are structured and what language to use.
You are free to create the contract on your own, but doing so is not advisable. It’s best to include an experienced lawyer who can make sure the contract is solid, correct, and appropriately benefits both parties.
Common misconceptions surrounding prenuptial agreements
Prenuptial agreements are commonly seen as a sign of mistrust in a relationship. The media tends to portray them as a means of spouses scamming one another, often using these contracts as a comedic or dramatic plot device.
In reality, these agreements can benefit any type of couple. Developing a prenup is an opportunity for couples to focus on communication and compromise instead of suspicion and worry. By spelling out intentions and expectations before the marriage begins, both parties can openly express concerns before the big day.
Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis is here to help you craft a solid, grounded, and mutually beneficial marital contract. If you are ready to discuss these issues with your partner, we can help. For a free consultation, call us at (410) 593-0040 or contact us online.