Summer – The Season of Weddings, and Pre-nuptial Agreements
July 11, 2012

Why you Need a Pre-nuptial Agreement
Sandy Meilton

ring-150x150It’s the summer season – the season of weddings.  While weddings and marriages are often fun-filled and full of hope, the stark reality is that many marriages end in separation and divorce.  In 2010 there were 2,096,000 marriages.

There were also 872,000 divorces or annulments in 2010.  The question is how to protect yourself in the event of a divorce?  Pre-nuptial agreements are one of the most useful and easiest answers to that question.  Simply stated, a pre-nuptial agreement is a written agreement between two people who are about to marry that sets out the terms of possession of assets and control of future property; the document can also address the issues of spousal support and alimony.  Here are some of the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement:

1.         A pre-nuptial agreement can reassure the parties that the marriage is not being entered into for financial gain.  This reassurance can help to remove some of the hesitancy parties might feel moving forward with a marital commitment.

2.         Pre-nuptial agreements eliminate the uncertainty of what will happen to the parties’ finances and assets in the event of a divorce.  This certainty is important to alleviate concerns, especially where one party has significantly more assets and/or a much higher earning capacity than the other, or, where one or both of the parties have children from a prior relationship.

3.         In the unfortunate event that a marriage ends in separation or divorce, a well drafted pre-nuptial agreement can make the transition from the relationship much less stressful to all involved.  If the financial aspects of the divorce can be determined quickly and with minimal hostility, the parties can more quickly focus on and deal with the emotional upheaval surrounding the divorce.

4.         Finally, where children are involved in the separation, the resolution of the financial matters permits the parents to deal more quickly and effectively with the emotional trauma the children will experience as they adjust to life in a separated family.

My point is simple:  a well drafted pre-nuptial agreement can allow the parties to amicably agree to divide their property when cooler heads are prevailing, and while both parties can look at the other sides’ perspective.  Addressing these issues up front paves the way for a smoother dissolution should the unfortunate need arise in the future.

All of this leads to one simple suggestion – before you say “I do”, be sure to sign on the dotted line.

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