If you are in a committed relationship that is headed towards marriage, have you considered entering into a prenuptial agreement with your significant other? If you’re like many Americans, you might be thinking: “absolutely not!” Prenups have a bad reputation as being “marriage killers.” There is also a common belief that they are only for the rich and famous.
Neither of these assumptions is universally true. In fact, prenuptial agreements are growing in popularity as Americans are, on average, entering into first marriages later in life than previous generations would have. When you’ve had time to acquire some personal assets as an adult, you have more reason to protect what you’ve earned.
Contrary to their reputations as “marriage killers,” there is an argument to be made that they can actually strengthen future marriages and reduce the risk of divorce. This is because prenuptial agreements force couples to have important discussions about money (spending and saving habits), long-term career goals, long-term family planning and numerous other topics that are critical to the survival of a marriage. If you are able to get on the same page before getting married, you are much less likely to experience conflict around these issues after tying the knot.
Ensuring A Fair Divorce Settlement
There is a particular family planning scenario in which a prenuptial agreement can provide valuable peace of mind. While it is now common for both spouses to work outside the home, some Mississippi couples are choosing the “older” model of having one parent stay at home with the children while the other parent works (thankfully, these roles are no longer gender-specific).
This is a wonderful option for all involved if families can afford it and if one parent wants to stay at home. But making the decision to be a stay-at-home parent can be scary if you ever worry about getting divorced. It is often difficult to reenter the work force after years or decades spent at home. Moreover, you’ll need some assurances that your contributions to the family will be appropriately considered if divorce ever becomes necessary.
No working spouse should be allowed to discount the contributions of a stay-at-home parent simply because they weren’t earning an income. In order to protect yourself as a future stay-at-home parent, you could include provisions in your prenuptial agreement entitling you to spousal support/alimony or other forms of compensation to ensure that you are not left in poor financial shape because of the divorce.
To be clear, an experienced family law attorney can help you fight for a fair settlement even if you don’t have a prenup. But putting a signed contract in place serves as an extra layer of protection against financial hardship due to divorce.
To learn more about how our firm can help you, contact our office to arrange an initial consultation.