Prenuptial agreements have gotten a bad rap as being something couples get because they expect that their marriage won't last. Many couples deny themselves some important benefits by refusing to consider one. In states like Louisiana, community property laws mean that the court divides your joint assets and debts evenly in the event of a divorce. Having a prenuptial agreement can certainly make the process of property division much more agreeable.
However, anticipating the division of property in a divorce is not the only reason to consider a premarital agreement. Here are some of the reasons why you might benefit from making such a contract with your future spouse:
- Keeping it in the family: Any business or heirlooms you inherited may be considered community property. A prenuptial agreement can keep those family treasures in the family in the event of your death or divorce.
- Thinking about the children: If you have children from a previous relationship, their inheritance may go to your spouse's family after your death or divorce. A prenuptial agreement can specify how you want certain assets to be distributed.
- Protecting each other from debt liability: If you or your future spouse have student loans or other individual debts, both of you become responsible for them once you marry. A prenuptial agreement can help you avoid this by limiting liability for existing or future debt.
Take responsibility for your finances
A prenuptial agreement centers on financial issues, so you wouldn't include stipulations about who washes the dishes and who takes out the trash. However, you might come to an agreement about which of you will be responsible for managing the household bills or bank accounts. You might also want to include details about how you will invest or save your money throughout the marriage.
One common issue some couples experience is when one spouse makes extravagant purchases - like houses, cars or boats - without consulting the other. Your prenuptial agreement can have a provision about spending and managing debt.
Just in case
Statistics show that money troubles are among the most common reasons why couples divorce. Having important financial decisions already in place is a positive way to begin a marriage.
Since premarital agreements can be as complex and unique as each couple, you will want the help of an attorney who knows the intricate nature of family law. Having an attorney assist you will bring you the security of knowing that everything is in order if you ever need to invoke your prenuptial agreement.