Advantages of a Prenuptial Agreement

The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that forty to fifty percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue. Many are familiar with the term “Family’s that pray together stay together.” The Barna Research Group has proven through recent studies that 29% of Baptists, 25% of Protestants, 24% of Mormons, 21% of Catholics, and 21% of Lutherans have gone through a divorce. With so many divorces its ridiculous that everyone isn’t signing a prenup.

The first advantage of a prenuptial agreement I want to talk about is avoiding legal costs and unnecessary attorney fees if you find yourself in divorce court. If Anna Nicole had entered into a prenuptial agreement or living together agreement with Howard Stern, her assets would not be in question and her living daughter would receive them. A prenuptial agreement will make sure that property will be distributed as the couple wishes, in life or possible death! Any one whose gone through a messy divorce will tell you that a considerable amount of your wealth will be lost to your spouse, legal fees, fees charged by appraisers, expert witnesses, and so forth.

The second advantage of a prenuptial agreement is if you fear your children of your first marriage will not get a distribution of your wealth in the event of a divorce or death you can fix that with a prenup. In your prenuptial agreement you’ll set forth the details of how your property will be distributed upon divorce or death.

A third advantage of a prenuptial agreement is if you have a family business(es), heirlooms, or other family assets within the family you can protect those assets and distribute them accordingly with a prenup. The descendant’s spouse cannot lay claim to your family assets if he/she is not the intended heir. You can make such family assets immune to claims from the new spouse with a prenuptial agreement.

Another advantage of a prenuptial agreement is you can protect your business assets. Owners of a closely held corporation or partnership can use a prenup to prevent the spouse from obtaining voting rights or claims against the business. In a prenuptial agreement form you can add that your prospective spouse waive all rights to the owner-spouse’s interest in the business in the event of a divorce or death. Also, you can state in your prenup that your spouse will be the new shareholder or partner upon the event of death, and that the remaining owners are required to purchase the descendant’s share of the business. In the prenup you can even specify how much the share must be sold and the period by which your spouse will receive all the money.

The fifth advantage of a prenuptial agreement is protection against creditors. If one spouse has substantial debts before marriage you can get a prenup to protect the assets of the other spouse from creditors of the debtor spouse. Having the debtor spouse sign a prenuptial agreement that wants to waive the debtor spouse’s claims to the new spouse’s assets does this. You can also specify you want the waiver until the event of a divorce or death.

The sixth and final advantage I’ll talk about is protection against disposition of property. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that a couple’s property will be distributed according to their intentions. This is a useful feature since often times disputes do arise over how marital property should be allocated. You can also transfer property from one spouse to the other to create separate or joint property rights.