Payne & Associates, PLLC

Cupid’s arrow has hit its mark, the world is bright and beautiful, and all you see are hearts and flowers. You’re in love. You can’t imagine anything going wrong. And you just know that you’re going to live together happily ever after. Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement seems hurtful and unnecessary. But is it?

While it may not be the most romantic thing to discuss, prenuptial agreements are there to protect both parties. And they come into play, not just in the case of divorce, but also upon the death of a spouse. In either case, assets need to be divided, and an already-in-place agreement can facilitate this. Why is a prenup a good idea?

Protect premarital assets

While this may not be as important to young people marrying for the first time, those marrying later in life or for the second time may be bringing significant assets into the marriage. One spouse may be quite a bit wealthier than the other or earn much more. A prenup will specify exactly how those assets should be allocated in the case of divorce or death.

Financial security

Just as a wealthy spouse may want to protect his or her assets, the poorer spouse may want a promise of financial security or assistance if the relationship sends. An agreement can delineate the details of such an arrangement.

Whose debt is it?

It is possible that one spouse is bringing a lot of debt into the marriage. If the marriage ends, the other spouse does not want to be shackled to debt that isn’t even theirs. A prenuptial agreement can help to avoid this.

Questions involving business

If one of the spouses owns a business, the other could end up with a significant share of that business upon dissolution of the relationship. Others involved in the business may not want this, or there may be other wishes for the business upon the spouse-business owner’s death. A prenuptial agreement can help to avoid conflict and misunderstandings in this area.

It’s not all about money

While prenuptial agreements are generally thought of as “financial contracts,” they can also address such matters as how holidays will be handled, decisions involving children from previous relationships, and in which religion younger children will be raised. Although these may not seem like significant matters at the outset of a marriage, they can become major points of contention later on.

Admittedly, it may be uncomfortable to discuss such matters. But it is better to discuss them when everything is going well rather than wait until the relationship is on the rocks. And if one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is probably not in optimal condition to make such important decisions. A prenuptial agreement does not mean that spouses lack confidence in the relationship; it’s just a sensible thing to do in order to protect the interests of all involved.

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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