Some people believe that only extremely wealthy couples need a prenuptial agreement. However, speaking to a prenuptial agreement lawyer can actually be beneficial for most engaged couples. Marriage is a legally binding contract, and with a prenuptial agreement you can protect assets in a way that makes sense to you and your partner, instead of simply agreeing to follow North Carolina’s standard rules regarding property division.
Prenuptial Agreements – Setting Up Your Marriage for Success
Prenups have a bit of a bad reputation, because many people think they indicate that you don’t think the marriage will last. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, going through the process of signing a prenuptial agreement can actually set up your marriage for success.
First, prenups primarily deal with money and asset division. Therefore, signing one forces you and your future spouse to have tough conversations about money that you might not think to have beforehand. A recent study found that 40% of Americans don’t know exactly how much their partner earns and 44% argue about money at least occasionally. You don’t want to go into your marriage with any surprises about the other person’s finances. Often, it isn’t because you or your partner is hiding anything. It is simply because you both assume finances are different than the reality of the situation.
Second, keep in mind that a prenup can protect you and your future spouse in other ways as well. While money and assets are the most common things covered, a prenup can also outline decisions about estate planning and financial access. These are all areas where you’ll want to be on the same page as your spouse.
Protect the People You Love the Most with a Prenup
Many people think about a prenup as a way to protect themselves. However, you can also think about it as a way to protect the people you love the most – your family. A prenuptial agreement protects you, but it also protects your partner and current/future children. Here are a few examples of ways prenups can protect the people you love:
- Ensure that certain family heirlooms stay with your family instead of becoming a divisible asset
- Potentially dictate what happens to certain assets in the event of you or your partner’s death, even if you don’t have a will
- Provide for your children in a way that you both agree is best, which you decide together during a time when you are most committed to one another and the happiness of your family
Of course, a prenuptial agreement lawyer will help protect you as well. You and your spouse are both coming to the marriage with different assets. During your marriage, you will acquire more. With a contract in place, you never have to argue about these finances. Instead of a stress hanging over your marriage, you come to an agreement before you ever walk down the aisle. It gives you both peace of mind so you can go into your marriage with a positive, healthy mindset regarding your finances.
Do You Need Your Own Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer?
If your partner comes to you asking for a prenuptial agreement, don’t panic. Once again, this document can set up your marriage for success. It’s not an indication that your partner doesn’t have faith the marriage will last. It can actually be a romantic process you go through together as you make decisions about your finances and future.
That said, it almost always makes sense to have your own lawyer review a prenuptial agreement before you sign anything. A prenuptial agreement lawyer can write a contract that favors one party over another. If you don’t have experience in family law, you might not realize that a contract is not in your favor. This has nothing to do with trusting your future spouse. Unless they are a family lawyer, they probably wouldn’t realize an imbalanced agreement either.
That’s where we come in. Our attorneys have a combined 40 years of experience in family law. We’ll work hard to ensure that any contract you sign is fair to you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Prenuptial Agreements
The best way to get answers to all your prenuptial agreement questions is to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers. Every situation is different. Therefore, the only way to get answers to your specific questions is to speak to us directly. Here are a few more general questions to help you learn more about prenups.
What documents does your lawyer need for a prenuptial agreement?
When you have a lawyer prepare a prenuptial agreement, your family lawyer will need any documents relevant to your finances. This includes pay stubs, bank statements, investment account statements, business documentation if you own a business, titles/deeds to property, real estate appraisals, vehicle titles, and insurance policies. Additionally, you should provide a list of all valuable assets, such as jewelry, art, and antiques.
Do not attempt to hide assets during this process. Fully disclose your assets so they can be included in the prenup. If you do not disclose everything, your partner could challenge the validity of the agreement in the future.
Where can I find the right prenuptial attorney?
The right attorney in any situation should have experience in the area of law in question. Additionally, always work with a team who makes you feel comfortable and has a reputation for excellence. We’d love to talk to you to see if we would be a good fit for your situation. Contact us today to learn more about our family law services.