Using a Prenuptial Agreement to Avoid Contentious Divorce

A critical reason that people want prenups is to avoid a contentious divorce. Many people come from a divorced household and do not want to undergo a contentious divorce, as their parents had, and they want to avoid putting their children through the same experience. Having a prenuptial agreement is the best way to have a more thoughtful non-adversarial process should the marriage end. There will be no surprises, resulting in a more peaceful divorce.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Works

Prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage. Couples who plan to marry often enter into prenuptial agreements that clarify the financial rights and obligations in the event of a divorce. They can also use prenuptial agreements to determine what rights a spouse will have in the event of the other's death.

The most common reasons that people create prenuptial agreements include:

  • Protecting assets that they had before the marriage
  • Protecting assets that they expect to inherit
  • Clarifying how marital assets will be divided
  • Clarifying whether a spouse will be entitled to spousal support in the event of a divorce
  • Clarifying what estate rights a surviving spouse will have upon the death of the other

It is a common misconception that asking your soon-to-be spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement is indicative that you don’t trust them or believe in your future together. It is simply not the case. Wanting to start your marriage with an understanding of financial and other issues is a sign of love and respect for each other.

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