What is an prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements.

We all seem to know someone who has gone through a divorce. Divorces are complex and emotions run high. Making multiple decisions about how assets might be divided between the couple are never easy. Every case has to be assessed on whether or not spousal maintenance, or what used to be known as alimony, is appropriate. The issue of spousal maintenance makes a divorce even more financially stressful. Couples can plan ahead before the marriage to proactively protect assets which can often help to avoid problems moving forward.

One way a couple planning to marry might establish how assets and debts are divided before marital problems surface is to have a prenuptial agreement. The idea of a prenuptial agreement is not romantic. Neither is going through a long and expensive divorce. Couples should give serious consideration to discussing a prenuptial agreement well before the wedding so there can be an open discussion of how they want to structure handling of their finances.

A couple can decide how property obtained prior to a marriage and marital property will be divided and how to address spousal maintenance if it may be an issue. The amount and length of receiving spousal maintenance can be agreed upon in the prenuptial agreement. The benefit of having a prenuptial agreement in place may reduce the length and expense of the divorce.

Sadly, approximately 50 percent of all marriages today end in divorce. That is a very sobering statistic. Planning ahead makes sense. Discussing a prenuptial agreement and how the process works allows the couple the opportunity to make sound financial decisions.

Jessica Sterle

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