A surprising number of people think that prenuptial agreements are only for people who are incredibly wealthy or famous. There is little question that for decades only certain populations commonly made use of prenuptial agreements, but that has changed in recent years.
People of all backgrounds and incomes have started to recognize the value that comes from a prenuptial agreement. You don’t have to have millions of dollars in assets or an internationally renowned career for an agreement to make sense for your relationship. Who will likely benefit from a prenuptial agreement?
Those with a previous marriage that already ended
Second and subsequent marriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce. Second marriages also tend to occur later in life when people have accrued more personal property. Those remarrying after a divorce may find that a prenuptial agreement makes it easier to commit to their new relationship with fewer concerns about what happens if it ends.
Those who own substantial property, like a business or a house
If you already have major assets in your name, you don’t likely want to have to split their value in a divorce. Even if you own them outright before marriage, things that happened during your marriage could constitute commingling and give your spouse a partial claim to those assets.
A prenuptial agreement can designate the property as your separate possession, even if your spouse helps you financially maintain the asset or physically work to repair it.
Those who don’t want to endure an embarrassing litigated divorce
It’s easy to say that you would have a dignified divorce when you think about it during the happiest parts of your relationship. You and your spouse might claim that you will treat one another with dignity and decency during divorce proceedings.
Unfortunately, you may forget those good intentions when divorce overwhelms you. Creating a prenuptial agreement now, while your marriage is still in a good place, helps ensure that your divorce won’t become a messy fight.
There are plenty of other reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement. Those with specific expectations for their spouse, a desire to have children or an agreement to stay home and raise any children a couple may have in the future could benefit from a marital agreement as well.
Recognizing that a prenuptial agreement could protect you and your spouse might help you see the value of negotiating with each other before you get married.