FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-09-18
Celebrity engagements are almost as popular online reading as celebrity breakups. From speculation on whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg obtained a prenup before his recent marriage to how much Kim Kardashian saved in her prenup with Kris Humphries, prenups are popping up more and more in headlines.
Most people would agree that celebrities are wise to enter into prenuptial agreements. But prenuptial agreements are not just for celebrities or the rich.
A prenuptial agreement is simply an agreement between two people that states which assets belong to which person when entering a committed relationship, and how those assets will be divided in the event of a dissolution. Even if neither person has extensive assets, it can still be worth it to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Some of the most prominent reasons to obtain a prenup include:
- To gain a solid financial understanding of all the couple’s assets: Rather than having an incomplete financial picture, a prenuptial agreement lays out the couple’s finances and encourages financial planning.
- To insure against divorce: Nobody wants to have to use insurance, but unexpected and unwanted events happen in life — and a prenup can save thousands of dollars in court costs, along with emotional stress to boot.
- To protect children: Those entering marriage who already have children can ensure that their children will receive their rightful inheritances.
- To protect a business: Even if a business was started before a marriage began and run by only one spouse, in a divorce the business ownership could potentially be split between spouses.
- To protect legally unmarried couples: Cohabitation agreements are essentially prenuptial agreements that can provide people in unmarried but cohabitating relationship certain rights, such as monetary support, in the event the relationship ends.
Much of what is agreed to in a prenup depends on the circumstances of the couple, but they are flexible financial documents that encompass a wide range of possibilities. While child support and custody cannot be included in a prenup, what will happen after divorce regarding spousal support, the division of assets and retirement plans can all agreed upon.
If you are interested in establishing a prenup, contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation and determine what is right for you.