Prenups get a bad rap because people assume they portend failure of the marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement is essential in setting things right from the word go. Prenups are a great way of addressing your marriage’s financial future while ensuring everyone is reading from the same page.
Like any other binding agreement, a prenup is only as good as its terms. Leaving out some crucial details may create loopholes, and the prenup might not serve its intended purpose. Here are some things that you should include in a prenuptial agreement.
Premarital assets and debts
How much property or debt did you have before the marriage, and how will they be treated upon divorce? Your prenup should clearly outline such questions to avoid any gray areas when dividing the marital estate. It will also help distinguish between marital and personal property.
Spousal support provision
Usually, the lower-earning parent may be entitled to alimony or spousal support. You should include a provision on how much your spouse is entitled to in the prenup.
Children from a previous marriage
A prenup should also contain provisions on how you will provide for your children from a previous marriage. Generally, your spouse has the first claim to your inheritance. However, you can prevent accidental disinheritance and guarantee the children’s stake in your estate with specific provisions in the prenup.
Each spouse’s responsibilities
It is crucial to define financial responsibilities in the marriage. Who is in charge of paying bills? How are joint accounts and investments handled? Having all these in the prenup will help avoid unnecessary arguments during a divorce.
A prenup is enforceable. However, the court will only enforce it if the terms are fair to both parties. Therefore, it is necessary to have a solid agreement that can stand the legal test and safeguard your interests should the marriage not work out.