When you meet the love of your life, everything just seems to fall into place. You love spending time together. You seem to agree on everything. Spending the rest of your lives together seems like an obvious decision.
When you’re in the so-called “honeymoon phase,” everything seems possible. You’re confident your relationship will last forever – and it very well could. However, conflict naturally arises in any marriage. There are certain steps you can take to make the road ahead a bit easier.
The prenuptial agreement (prenup) has gotten a bad reputation in recent years. Celebrities commonly use prenups as a way of ensuring they retain their wealth in the event of a divorce. But a prenuptial agreement doesn’t have to be a plan for a marriage’s end. A good prenup can actually make your relationship stronger – and increase its likelihood of success.
You can add anything you want into a prenup. Here are a few things you may not realize can be included:
Money tends to be a point of contention and stress in any relationship. You may be marrying someone with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. You and your partner may have very different saving and spending habits. A prenup can help get you on the same page in terms of financial management and make sure you’re not inheriting any unintended debt.
You may be marrying someone with children from a previous marriage. Your prenup can lay out the terms of your support for these children. Additionally, whether you’re marrying into a family with existing children or you end up having children of your own, you and your spouse can use a prenup as an opportunity to plan for their educational needs as they get older.
No one can predict the future. Even if your marriage doesn’t end in divorce, other unexpected things can happen. You or your spouse could become disabled, fall seriously ill or die unexpectedly. Most couples don’t plan for such events until later in life, but it’s actually a worthwhile thing to do early on – and a prenup is a good opportunity to do it.
A prenup doesn’t have to be a document outlining the terms of your inevitable divorce. When designed thoughtfully, it can actually be a responsible relationship-building tool. An experienced family law attorney can help you get started.