Written by Jonathan Breeden
From picking out invitations to ordering a cake, each wedding decision seems important. However, first and foremost, you should consider protecting yourself now and in the future with a prenuptial agreement.
Signing a prenup with your soon-to-be spouse can make those involved a little uneasy. But there are agreements for everyone, and it could put everyone at ease, regardless of either person’s income.
Here are five reasons you need a prenup no matter how much you’re currently worth.
A prenup can ensure you keep what you deserve in the event of a divorce. Although you may get married young and poor, you and your new spouse will work hard to obtain assets and gain value.
According to Business Insider (quoting Federal Reserve data), America has a median net worth of $121,700 per adult. That amount increases with age. Most Americans get married under 35 when the median net worth is closer to $13,900. However, by the time many divorces occur, Americans may be worth much more – over $200,000 by the time they are in their 50s.
According to Pew Research and the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may earn a modest wage now, but even considering inflation, that will likely increase by between 2% and 9% annually.
Income growth may seem small, but it amounts to a lot over time. You can use a prenup to set acceptable alimony or spousal support amount before any major changes to have a better understanding of what may happen upon divorce.
A major issue that prenups can help decide is what happens to children from prior relationships and any children from the relationship with your soon-to-be spouse. Although a prenup cannot determine formal child custody, it can establish things like child support and assets and property belonging to children upon separation.
Whether you already own a business or start one after your marriage, a prenup can help you divvy things up before a divorce. If you have business partners, they may even require that you sign a prenup that guarantees the business will not be torn apart or dismantled in a separation.
Marital property is obtained during the marriage and will be divided in the event of divorce. However, you may have separate property that you owned before the wedding or that was gifted or inherited after. Whether you own real estate, retirement accounts, investments, or other assets and property, you should include everything you want to keep in your prenup.
You should also discuss the allocation and payment of debt like student loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Failure to split debt will result in creditors coming after both of you if someone fails to make a payment.
Having a prenup early in your relationship can do more than protect you after the marriage. It can make both people more conscious of how you spend your money during the marriage. According to Forbes and most relationship experts, the number one thing couples fight over is money.
A prenup can help guide you to making agreeable financial decisions before, during, and after marriage.
For more information about drafting and signing a prenup in North Carolina, contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.