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When might you need a prenuptial agreement?

As you approach your wedding, you probably have many details to consider about your life together, from where you will live to what your family will look like. Another detail that you may wish to consider is a prenuptial agreement. When might a prenuptial agreement benefit you?

You have different incomes

If you earn significantly more than your spouse or will receive stock options during the course of your marriage, the court may give your spouse more in a divorce in order to create a fair division of your savings. A prenuptial agreement, however, allows you to divide your finances, your retirement savings and your stock options so that what you earn remains yours no matter what occurs in the future.

You or your spouse own a business, real estate or other valuable assets

Even if a valuable piece of property is in your name, it can become “commingled” if your spouse contributes to it during your marriage. Commingling can occur if your spouse helps build your business or if you use your joint account to pay for the mortgage or maintenance on your house. After commingling, the court may divide these assets along with your other property. Prenuptial agreements, however, can establish that this valuable property is yours alone in the event of a divorce.

You or your spouse will take time away from the workforce

Many people take time away from their career to raise their children; in fact, the Pew Research Center estimated in 2018 that around one in five parents worked in the home. However, just as this time away from the workforce can help build their family, it can also impact the careers of stay at home parents. If you or your spouse wants to take time away from work to raise your kids, you may want to discuss that decision and consider addressing it in a prenuptial agreement.

You own important family heirlooms

If your personal property includes cherished family heirlooms, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that those pieces remain in the family even if you and your spouse divorce.

By having frank conversations about your finances, you can enter your marriage with confidence that your finances are protected.