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Thinking about Getting a Prenup? (Part 1 of 3)

by Norris Law Group on June 30, 2014

Thinking about Getting a Prenup? (Part 1 of 3)According to an October 2013 report in Business Insider, many couples are waiting longer and longer to get married. This means that many couples may have accumulated some individual assets of their own, and if they are thinking about marriage, they may also wonder whether a prenuptial agreement would be a good idea. But each person in the relationship may be a little afraid to bring up the subject, lest the other think that mistrust has crept into the relationship at some point along the way.

LearnVest, a website dedicated to personal financial planning, financial planner Ellen Derrick and attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza go over 9 Things You’re Embarrassed to Ask about Prenups in a 2013 article. This edition of our blog will cover the first three. The second installment will cover the second group of three, and the third installment covers the last group of three.

  1. “What is a prenup?” “Prenup” is simply short for “prenuptial agreement.” “Prenuptial” means “before marriage;” prenups are always executed prior to a wedding. According to Ann-Margaret Carrozza, “the most common purpose for a prenup is to determine who gets what in the event of a divorce.” While it is always hoped that a marriage will last forever, if you do end up getting divorced and you go into marriage without a prenup in place, you run the risk of losing more in the property division phase of the divorce. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse enter into a prenup, however, you can agree ahead of time how you want assets to be divided. A prenup can make the divorce process much quicker and smoother, and is intended to ultimately save you money.
  2. “Does getting a prenup mean that my fiancé doesn’t trust me?” Ellen Derrick says that, “[Asking for a prenup] absolutely doesn’t mean that [your fiancé] don’t love or trust you. Rather, it means that you’re trying to protect yourself and the other person—and you’re thinking about all of the possibilities. Nobody goes into marriage expecting to get divorced, but you want to think about the repercussions if that does happen.” Ann-Margaret Carrozza adds, “It’s an opportunity for the couple to create a financial mission statement. Within a prenup, you go much further than just who gets what. You also outline your financial goals and priorities during the marriage, and use it as a blueprint to design your financial future with your partner.”
  1. “But I’m not wealthy. Do I really need [a prenup]? Carrozza says, “It’s very common for someone with a degree of wealth to request a prenup. But it can also be helpful to a partner with fewer assets because individuals will often quit a job or relocate prior to a marriage, and a prenup can ensure that they are made financially whole in the event of a breakup.” For example, if you plan to be the spouse who leaves the workforce to care for your children, in a prenup you could state that you would expect to receive spousal support in the event of a divorce while you prepare to re-enter the workforce.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of family law, including prenuptial agreements. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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