Prenuptial agreements have somewhat of a taboo reputation. Many people think that these contracts are only for rich couples who are marrying for money. Unfortunately, false assumptions about these contracts stop many people from benefiting from them. Prenups are very powerful and can help to protect your marriage in many different ways.
If you are engaged or heading into marriage, it is important that you understand how a prenuptial agreement might be able to help you. You do not need to be wealthy or have lots of assets to benefit from them. Many couples use them and benefit from them in their Kansas City marriages.
We want you to know the different marriage situations that might warrant a prenuptial agreement, so that you can make educated and empowered decisions about your marriage. These are some of the situations in which you may want to consider signing a prenup before saying, “I do.”
- You or Your Partner Has a Lot of Debt
Many couples do not enter a marriage with the same burden of debt. It is important to discuss finances with your partner before you get married, to determine if one of you has a significant amount that you owe to a bank, loan officer, or credit company. If one of you does have significant debt, a prenuptial agreement protects the other spouse from being responsible for that debt if the indebted spouse dies or fails to pay. When the debt represents a significant sum of money, this is a considerable protection to have.
It is important to note that debt is considered during divorce proceedings as well. This means that if your spouse enters the marriage with significant debt and then you eventually divorce, that debt will become your responsibility too.
A prenuptial agreement can help to prevent this by ensuring that the debt remains the responsibility of the person who incurred it. If that person dies or you divorce, the debt is either dissolved or falls to another next of kin.
- You or Your Partner Has Children From a Previous Marriage
Many couples don’t consider how children from previous marriages might affect their financial situation. If you have children and are remarrying, a prenuptial agreement helps to protect your children in the case of your death. If you die without a prenup, your assets will go to your surviving spouse. Depending on the age of your children, this could mean that they miss out on inheritances and assets entirely. This is especially true because your spouse can reallocate those assets to beneficiaries of their choosing, leaving your children out of the equation completely.
For example, let’s say that you have a large vacation property that has been in your family for years. You want your teenage daughter to inherit the home when you pass away, to keep the property in the family. However, you remarry without a prenup. When you die, the home goes to your surviving spouse, who chooses to leave the home to his own son instead. The vacation home leaves the family, and your daughter misses out on a significant financial and sentimental asset.
With a prenuptial agreement, you can make sure that your belongings go directly to your children, rather than through their stepparent first.
- You or Your Partner Owns a Business
Whether you own a large corporation or a small mom-and-pop shop, you must consider your business when you get married. Under normal divorce circumstances, your business is considered an asset that will be divided. This means that your spouse may have claim to half, or even all, of your business. You could lose your life’s work and livelihood.
With a prenup, the business can remain outside of the reach of divorce proceedings. It will remain under your care and will not be considered a divisible asset by divorce courts.
- You or Your Partner Has Significant Assets
This is one of the most commonly understood conditions of prenuptial agreements, and many people mistakenly believe that it is greedy or selfish to protect one’s assets under this condition. However, it can actually be quite emotionally beneficial. Prenups can help the higher-asset spouse to understand that their spouse is marrying them for the right reasons. Simultaneously, it helps the marrying spouse to manage expectations and make an educated decision about their marriage.
It is important to understand that this does not mean that the asset-holding spouse will get all of the property and money in the case of divorce. Any assets incurred during the marriage can still be split during divorce proceedings. The prenuptial agreement also does not prevent either spouse from being eligible for spousal support or alimony.
- You or Your Spouse Is Part of a Family Business
Family businesses can be tricky. Similar to the business situation mentioned above, divorce proceedings without a prenuptial agreement can lead to a loss of claim to the family business. If you or your spouse wishes to keep the family business in their own family, a prenuptial agreement can help to protect that. In many situations, families who own businesses together request that marrying members get prenups to protect them from harm.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Prenuptial Agreement?
A qualified attorney can be a fantastic asset in your prenup process. These contracts are serious and complicated, and require an expert hand to create. Remember, no two prenups are the same. You and your future spouse can customize your prenuptial agreement to reflect your unique situation and ensure that it is a tool for harmony and equality in your upcoming marriage.
Contact Stange Law Firm
When you are looking for a Kansas City prenuptial lawyer, look no further than our team at Stange Law Firm. There is no family law firm in the area with better experience and background to handle your prenuptial case. Our team is diligent, understanding, compassionate, and ready to help no matter what family law situation may arise.
Whether you need help drafting a prenup, enacting a prenup during divorce proceedings, or simply need representation for your divorce, we can help. Don’t wait, contact us online today.