Prenuptial agreements on the rise for both men and women
Prenuptial Agreements are all the rage
A prenuptial agreement is a contract which allows couples to decide how they will divide their assets and property in case of divorce. Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich. Today, prenuptial agreements can be used even by the middle class. In fact, a 2011 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that "prenups had increased 73 percent over a five-year period." And researchers are finding more women are requesting them now.
Why so many prenuptial agreements?
A common reason prenuptial agreements have become so common is the sad fact that about 50% of marriages currently end in divorce. Additionally, men and women are getting married later than ever, and it's not unusual for couples to come into marriage with more assets. Finally, with second and third marriages it's common for spouses to want to protect their assets for their children.
If you are considering marriage it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer. You may argue that you don't have any assets so a prenuptial agreement is not necessary, but some couples have a prenuptial agreement to protect future assets too such as property they inherit from their parents or income from their retirement savings.
Prenuptial Agreements can be an emotionally charged discussion
Even though more couples are getting prenuptial agreements they remain an emotionally charged issue. The bottom line is if you believe your marriage is going to last forever there is no reason to plan for the eventuality that it will end.
This is a valid argument against a prenuptial agreement. Having a contingency plan for a failed marriage doesn't necessarily suggest your beloved is in it for the long haul. So the bottom line is the discussion about a prenuptial agreement should happen sooner rather than later. Make sure you and your spouse have the same ideas about marriage. If you are dating someone that has the mentality that marriage is fine until it's no longer convenient, but you think it's until death do we part, it might be time to find someone who shares your marriage ideals.
Can I do a prenuptial agreement on my own?
It could cost about $2,000 to hire a lawyer to construct your prenuptial agreement, but it is a good idea to hire a lawyer rather than try to do it yourself. If you do get divorced the last thing you want is a prenuptial agreement which doesn't hold up in court. If hiring a lawyer is out of the question, you can review online resources such as Legalzoom.com which has a prenuptial agreement package for as little as $600.
When considering what to put in the prenuptial agreement make sure you address sentimental items as well as debts and retirement accounts.
Talk before you get married
Experts suggest financial issues are one of the major leading causes of divorce. To avoid divorce make sure you talk about finances before you get married. Talk about all of your assets and debts, especially your debts, and make sure you and your partner come to an agreement on how finances will be handled after marriage.