If prepared by a skilled practitioner, a prenuptial agreement can open the door to a long-lasting and honest marriage.
Engaged couples seeking to establish and encourage open conversations about finances, income, assets and who’s earning what when children show up, can be benefited by discussing practical issues rather than spending that time discussing tropical locales for the honeymoon. To many, the thought of a prenup conjures up images of doom and gloom that stem from discussing the end of a relationship before it begins, rather than providing validation the love that is shared. After all, love does not care about one’s financial condition.
However, many conditions exist that can make love interfere with better judgment, considerations such as, is it your second marriage? Does one partner bring more assets to the marriage than the other? Do you own a business? Do you expect an inheritance? One can view marriage as a partnership between husband and wife, and a prenuptial agreement is like a business plan, writing up the framework for the financial component of the relationship while deciding on both obligations and goals. One of the most difficult parts of divorce is often the controversial subject of alimony. A prenup can settle that in advance and help guide the marriage and even prevent divorce if the prospects of financial gain are lessened.
Conversations about finances are not on the minds of many during the courtship stage; however, it would be beneficial if more spouses-to-be discussed many things, which might include religious beliefs or how many children they dream of having--things that tend to surprise even the closest companions when intentions differ.
Our legal system has made it easier than ever to obtain a no-fault divorce in most jurisdictions, yet the promise of a happy, healthy marriage should still have great meaning to those seeking to marry. After all, wedding is not just a scene played out in front of family and friends, it is a contract of obligation between two consenting adults. The simple writing of one’s intentions, commitments and concerns in plain language provided in a well-written prenuptial agreement can establish a strong foundation of trust and openness that any properly committed couple can benefit from.
Contact Bergstrom Attorneys to discuss your questions about a prenuptial agreement, estate planning, and any of other many legal services. Our firm serves clients in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.