Close up of couple signing prenuptual agreement

Make sure you hit 'em with the prenup


The truth is, marriage is not only a romantic relationship, but also a sort of business relationship. I mean come on... you share a bank account!

Dysfunction has led to the increased acknowledgment that a prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement or prenup, for short) can be useful to protect each spouse's financial interests.

Basically, a prenup establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. So while no one is thinking about a divorce when they get married, about one half of all marriages in America end up in divorce proceedings.

If you’re still confused (WTF), prenups are often used to protect the assets of wealthy spouses but also can protect family businesses and serve other important functions.

Are you weird and still confused? Let me define this in a different way. A prenup makes sure that when you go into a relationship that there is no “Golddigger” motive potential.

A prenup may actually strengthen your relationship. While people often imagine that negotiating a prenup leads to conflict, communicating about money matters can actually improve the quality of your relationship and support good communication in your marriage.

On the other hand, making a prenup forces you to confront many of these issues now, at a time when your relationship may still be new and untested. Discussing what goes into a prenup could be unpleasant and stressful, leaving one of you with bad feelings about the relationship.

So you may be thinking, “its all about the money, money, money” –Pitch Perfect

However, these agreements are legal contracts are no joke that have both advantages and disadvantages.

Lets start with the advantages first, duh.

A prenuptial agreement can protect your financial stability. This is the reason the majority of people create and sign a prenup. In community property states the law says that, without a prenup, you and your spouse share assets, property and debts equally regardless of whose name is on titles, or registrations. This can cause huge financial loss if your spouse didn’t contribute as much to the marriage financially as you did. In separate property states where the law says you own most non-joint assets and debts in your name, a prenup agreement can create a more even division of property and assets. Prenups also can ensure your spouse wont be touching your family inheritance, prolly not .

A prenuptial contract can protect the financial stability of your children. Without a prenup, your spouse may receive money or assets you wanted your children to have. Many couples work together for the good of their children even after separating, but if your marriage creates a blended family, a prenup can stop your spouse from taking assets or property for his own kids over yours. Again, prolly not .

A prenuptial agreement reduces conflict. A prenup is a legal contract the courts can enforce. When you sign one, you eliminate the possibility that you and your spouse will argue over particular issues, as the contract dictates how those issues are to be handled.

Let’s tap into the disadvantages of a prenup.

First off, It's not romantic. Let's face it, a prenup is not romantic. Being engaged means candlelit dinners and walks in the moonlight. Although marriage is a financial partnership as well as a romantic one, if you feel that discussing something as boring as property and finances, as well as the possibility of divorce, stop the conversation. And go get a divorce. Quick.

Creating a prenuptial agreement implies you don’t see the marriage as “forever.” Prenups come into play only when a marriage dissolves. By creating one, you send the message there is a real possibility your marriage will fail. However, there is always a chance any marriage will fail - especially if it's a sexless marriage.Your spouse might even take a prenup as evidence you won’t fight for the marriage if problems come up. This can be a real romance killer. And a huge turn off. Your spouse isn’t getting it in tonight.

The time may not be right. The need for a prenup is partly a question of timing. The matters covered in a prenup will probably arise sooner or later in your marriage: money management, property rights, responsibility for debts, estate planning and all that bullshit. And if your marriage doesn't work out, you'll certainly need to deal with divorce decisions. Don’t worry; there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Establishing a prenuptial agreement can create burdens if circumstances change. People cannot predict everything that will occur in their lives or even marriage. A prenup is based largely on assumptions founded on what is currently going on. Should situations change, the prenup can complicate what would have been simple matters. You will need to update your agreement just as you would your will, life insurance and similar contracts.

Signing a prenuptial agreement may necessitate a change in lifestyle. Even when prenups can’t outline spousal or child support, they do have a say in the division of property and assets. Therefore, a prenup can guarantee that some money has to go to your spouse or children. This can mean you will become poor (not really) after the divorce, which will enforce you to maintain or alter your lifestyle. And honestly...people who are used to living in comfort do not want to take a chance in their lifestyle being changed. A partner may stress over the possibility of the other partner wanting to spend too much money on frivolous things where lifestyle would be compromised. This is a good reason why an engagement should last a while. When a couple first meet they may not show their true personality at first. Given some time the two people begin to let their colors and spending habits show.

Bottom line people...

Prenuptial agreements are subject to a judge’s opinion. Even if you sign a prenup, if you take the agreement to court, it’s up to a judge to decide the legitimacy and reasonableness of every phrase. If he or she thinks part or all of the agreement is ridiculous, they can throw it out. Personal issues such as whether your spouse will wear makeup, take out the trash or empty the dishwasher are acceptable in states where the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act applies, assuming the conditions don’t violate public policy or other laws, but the more personal issues you include in a prenup, the more likely it is the judge will take it more seriously.