There’s a lot to consider before marriage, mainly involving all the planning for the reception and ceremony. However, once a marriage has been officiated, couples frequently share one roof. In other words, all of the assets from one spouse are shared with the other.
If there’s a divorce – which many people don’t plan on having, but it can happen – then couples will have to go through the lengthy processes of dividing assets. This can be troublesome when it’s not entirely clear who owns what asset and one spouse is claiming something that the other spouse feels they rightly deserve.
To ease people through divorce, couples can create a legal document called a prenuptial agreement. Here’s what you should know:
How do you protect your assets before marriage?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document, made before marriage, that protects assets. What this means is that each spouse has a clear claim over what assets they’re bringing into a marriage. For example, a prenup may detail how one spouse is responsible for their debt, how the other spouse has full ownership of their business or how the house is meant to be divided in a divorce.
The other advantage of a prenup is to establish alimony. Alimony is a financial obligation that one spouse is responsible for giving to the other spouse if there’s a divorce. Alimony is discussed so one spouse can continue their quality of life for a fraction of however long their marriage lasts.
The greatest benefit of a prenup is speeding up the asset division process. This legal document should easily differentiate the ownership of assets.
Is it too late to make a prenup?
A prenup, as stated above, is only ever made before marriage and can’t be made once the union of two people is officialized. While this may be troubling for many people who are only finding out about prenups or never finished making one before marriage, people do have another option – a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement is in nearly every way the same as a prenup, except that it’s made after marriage and can be made to rectify an outdated agreement.
You may need to seek legal guidance when creating a prenup and postnup.