The number of marriages that end in divorce has dramatically increased. The reason has less to do with the supposedly increasing immorality of generations, and more to do with the fact that getting a divorce is becoming easier, and that people (especially women) have come to realize their own worth in a relationship. It should also not be surprising that financial matters also play a significant role in many of these divorce proceedings – and along with this fact, there is one more point that should not be surprising, and this is the ‘prenuptial agreement’ that has become increasingly popular.A prenuptial agreement – also called a ‘prenup’ – is basically a financial agreement legally signed through pre-nup lawyers.
The agreement discloses all financial assets of both partners and explains how these will be used, divided or inherited throughout the marriage, in the event of separation or following the death of one partner. Simply, it handles the complicated money matters of a marriage. As the name explains, a prenuptial agreement comes right before you walk down the aisle with your partner. Since most individuals look at it as a handy document in the event of divorce (because it spares you from a lengthy legal battle about assets and how they will be divided), it has gained a malicious reputation for being something akin to planning the divorce before the marriage itself has been planned. However, instead of looking at it in this way, it should be understood that a prenup comes with its own advantages, some of them being:
- When there is an imbalance in wealth or income between partners – there can be instances where the two partners can have a large disparity in income or wealth. The wealthier partner may wish to protect their finances in the event of divorce (either to limit the alimony or prevent inheritance), whereas the poorer partner may wish to gain some of sort of financial protection.
- When you are remarrying – for an individual who has already faced family lawyers, the circumstances of marriage can drastically change. A person who is remarrying may have an existing family (i.e. children), assets or other circumstances that may need to be looked at and protected. A prenup can essentially ensure that the needs of the remarrying partner are met.
- When you own a business, estate, etc. – when one of the partners owns (either fully or in shares) significant assets such as businesses and estates, it might be problematic to have these be transferred to their partner following their death (the business may be averse to this, or the estate may be a family heirloom or something).