A prenup is a word that can scare many couples! But, if the idea of getting this agreement before you marry your hubby is haunting your mind, you have come to the right place!
So, are you ready for that big proposal? No, not THAT one – the one where you ask your future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement? Oh, boy! Does that thought make you angry, leave you laughing at the idea, or cause anxiety as you try to figure out how to pop the question.
Prenuptial agreements are legal documents that are signed and agreed upon before the marriage. They stipulate what is to happen with the couple’s property, finances, and sometimes even pets, should the couple divorce. They used to be seen as something the wealthy did to protect themselves from gold diggers. Or they were a precursor to the celebrity wedding.
Prenups were also often seen as a bad thing – something that either signaled the couple wasn’t really in love or that one party didn’t trust the other. But today, things have changed.
The Prenup in Today’s Marriage
The prenup actually has a role in today’s marriages that isn’t at all like it was before. While the couple’s parents or older friends and family may still balk at the idea, couples are embracing it. Millennials seem to be very keen on the idea.
One can assume that their exposure to divorce in their own families and among their friends has a direct impact on their acceptance of prenups. Whatever the reason, they’re more accepting of them and that’s a good thing.
Main Reasons Why You Should Get a Prenup
You don’t have to see them as romantic, although some people now do, you can at least see the value of a prenup.
- Avoid student loan debt that’s not yours. If your spouse goes back to school, racks up debt, and then you divorce, without a prenup, you could still be on the line for some of those expenses.
- Both spouses work. We live in an era where, in most marriages, both spouses work so there’s not the need to take care of your significant other like there used to be. Back in the day, grandma did everything in and around the house for no pay while grandpa made a living and they shared his income. Today, households are typically split with both people working and doing stuff at home, so each person wants to protect what they’ve earned.
- Keep your pets. This is actually important these days as pets are more a part of the family than ever before. If you don’t want to lose partial or total custody of the pet you had before the marriage, then a prenup can protect your pet rights.
Prenups Force You to Talk About Certain Topics
- Keep a family business. Let’s say you and your sons from a previous marriage own a plumbing business. If you have a prenup, when you divorce your current spouse, you can make sure you and your sons retain complete ownership of your business.
- Be fair to your significant other. This is a tricky one to imagine, but let’s say you started your own business and your future spouse helped you along the way. A prenup can assure that they’ll be rewarded for their kindness and support, even if the marriage doesn’t work.
- A new way to be pragmatic. Talking about a prenup forces a couple to discuss finances in ways many of them avoid under normal circumstances. This can be a bonding, informative, and useful discussion.
- Future planning. A prenup also helps you plan for the future. While you’re planning your wedding, you can also see what your honey’s future goals are and what yours are. This can help you plan to merge them together or you can plan on what you’re going to do if you part.
Bear in Mind That…
Planning for a life together goes beyond your big day, it includes the rest of your lives. Even if you plan on staying together and sharing everything, a prenuptial agreement can help cement those plans. Having a prenup helps you and your significant other prepare for the worst when you’re at your best.
Imagine how far you’ll both be if you honestly talk about what you’d do in a breakup when you’re still in love. Now imagine how vicious that same breakup could be if there’s no prenup and you now can’t stand each other. It’s actually a nice idea when you consider that you can make sure your partner is taken care of, even if you’re not together.
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Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer for Bella Honeymoons Destination Weddings.