As Michigan couples begin discussing marriage, they should also begin discussing prenuptial agreements. For a long time, prenuptial agreements were thought to be only necessary for wealthy or famous people, but as the age of marriage has increased, many people bring with them both assets and debts that should be addressed before the wedding happens.
Benefits of the prenuptial agreement
A prenup should be seen as marriage insurance since it provides a variety of benefits and protects your assets and interests in the case the marriage does not work out. It is an agreement, however, concerned only with the financial aspects of the relationship. Some of the benefits that a prenup provides include:
- Establishing how property acquired before the marriage will be handled
- Deciding how expected inheritances will be used
- Stating how savings, such as educational funds or retirement funds, will be addressed
- Identifying if, how and for how long spousal support might be paid if the marriage does not work out
- Allowing for less tension during divorce negotiations
- Providing a path to a possibly faster and less costly divorce
When should you talk about prenups?
The conversation about prenups can begin as soon as the relationship becomes serious and both parties begin considering a future marriage. This will also allow both sides to be honest and trusting about how they enter the marriage. However, if the marriage has already happened, the option of a nuptial agreement can still be discussed. Some couples sign postnups after the marriage, basically establishing everything that a prenup would have done. Other couples sign postnups to modify an existing prenup, particularly if something major has occurred, such as one spouse opening a business or the couple welcoming a child.
As you discuss prenups or postnups with your significant other, you should also become familiar with the state laws regarding marriage and divorce. These can help decide what to include in your own agreement.