Prenuptial Agreements: Not Just for the Wealthy

When people think of prenuptial agreements, also often called prenups, they often think of wealthy heiresses and large business owners with countless cars and several estates. Even still, the notion that couples must be rich to draft a prenuptial agreement is a complete myth. In fact, it can be argued that less wealthy people stand to benefit from a prenup more than rich people since they want to protect what little they have.

A prenup is a wise idea for anyone entering into a marriage with assets of any kind. Having a signed contract in effect before walking down the aisle gives couples a much-needed sense of security. It will decrease the risk of expensive and lengthy litigation in the future.

Of course, no one enters a marriage anticipating it will end in divorce. However, most people don’t expect to need a hospital stay, either, but they still carry health insurance. A prenuptial agreement is a like a marriage insurance policy.

Who Needs a Maryland Prenup Agreement?

If your circumstances involve any of the following, a prenup might be something that you want to consider seriously:

  • You are thinking of getting married and want to protect your property.
  • You are getting married but worried that if things don’t go as planned, you might end up in a costly and lengthy battle over who gets what.
  • You are a divorcee/widow/er getting remarried and want to limit any potential claims on the assets you retained from your first marriage.
  • You are getting married for the second time but want to protect your assets to ensure you have something to leave in your will to children from your first marriage if your new marriage ends.
  • You have assets or property that will be hard to split down the middle.
  • You want to protect money or assets you inherited.
  • You want to safeguard significant savings or an expected future inheritance.

Even if these situations don’t fit yours, discussing the possibility of a prenup with your future spouse and a knowledgeable attorney is never a bad idea. Discussing a prenup with your partner helps you communicate your financial goals and reveals your general attitudes about finances, including your spending and saving habits and any debts you have. Since money issues are one of the top causes of divorce, having these eye-opening conversations before walking down the aisle can help lay the foundation for a stronger and lasting partnership.

What Can Be Included in a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements aren’t one size fits all. While there are certain provisions that the law won’t support in a prenup agreement, most aren’t cookie cutters. You get to decide what is crucial in your life and relationship and include what you want, and leave out aspects that aren’t important to you. For example, you may want to include the following:

  • identifying separate vs. marital property
  • protections against the other spouse’s debts
  • provisions to keep family property in your family
  • directions for property distribution upon divorce
  • protections for estate plans
  • descriptions of the responsibilities of spouses, such as how household bills and expenses will be managed, managing credit card spending and payments, and how disagreements will be handled

Questions About Prenups? Call a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

Prenuptial agreements often come with some confusion and many questions. If you are getting married and want to learn more about them and how you can benefit even if you aren’t wealthy, contact a family law attorney today.

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