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Pros and Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement

The stark reality is that dealing with assets and debts represents one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce case. Therefore, many people contemplate entering into a prenuptial agreement in advance of getting married. These people hold out hope that a prenuptial agreement will make dealing with assets and debts a more manageable, less contentious task if a marriage ends up on the rails. There are some pros and cons associated with a prenuptial agreement that need to be borne in mind when considering entering into such an agreement.

Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement

There are nine primary benefits of entering into a prenuptial agreement. A close consideration of these factors is helpful when an individual is considering whether to execute a prenuptial agreement in advance of a wedding.

  • A prenuptial agreement is not indicative that a couple thinks their upcoming wedding is headed to divorce. A person might want to consider such an agreement akin to someone taking care to avoid contracting skin cancer when out in the sun. Because an individual uses sunscreen before spending time out of doors does not mean that person is convinced that he or she is destined to one day battle skin cancer. On some level, the exact opposite is the case.
  • A prenup ensures a couple heading towards marriage to take a close look at their finances. Time and again, people planning a marriage address a myriad of matters with a commonplace exception of having a meaningful discussion of financial matters.
  • Prenuptial agreements are helpful in preserving existing family ties and inheritances. Typically, families want their assets to remain within their kin cohort.
  • If a person won't sign a prenuptial agreement, the other party to the relationship is well-served having a look at the motivation for not doing so. This may shed light on other issues that may be relevant to proceeding forward with nuptials.
  • A prenup is a vital instrument when it comes to protecting the important needs and overall wellbeing of children born in a prior marriage or relationship.
  • Personal and business assets acquired or accumulated prior to a marriage are better protected.
  • A prenuptial agreement is an important instrument when it comes to delineating financial expectations in advance of a marriage. It lessens the potential for surprises regarding financial matters after a couple weds.
  • A prenup permits the parties the ability to spell out what assets they desire to go to children or other family members in advance of a wedding.
  • Finally, and as has been alluded to previously, a prenuptial agreement lessens or even eliminates the potential for battles over property if a divorce ever does occur.
Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement

As with many things in life, a prenuptial agreement does have some drawbacks. Six negative aspects of a prenuptial agreement are of particular note.

  • Some individuals are hard-pressed to get around the thought that a prenuptial agreement is a plan to divorce when a couple is planning to wed.
  • A prenup can leave the parties feeling as if there is a lack of commitment between them.
  • Prenups do have the potential of causing friction in a relationship in some cases. Oftentimes, the tension associated with a prenup passes over time. However, there are instances in which friction associated with a proposed prenuptial agreement becomes aggravated over time.
  • A prenup can create resentment between spouses, a state that can fester and become worse over time.
  • Prenuptial agreements can result in the appearance of a lack of trust and confidence between a couple.
  • A prenuptial agreement is not necessarily set-in stone. The agreement can be "set aside" or legally invalidated if fraud, duress, or unfairness is demonstrated. In addition, a prenup can be set aside or voided in some cases if a party lacks legal representation at the time of signing.

A prenuptial agreement can be a truly valuable agreement in many cases, a contract that can protect the legal rights and interests of both parties intending to marriage. Nonetheless, a prenup is not for every couple. In addition to personally giving serious consideration to the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement, people considering marriage are wise to consult with experienced legal counsel. If you have any questions concerning a prenuptial agreement, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 887-0461 for consultation.

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