It would be fair to say that there’s something of a stigma associated with prenuptial agreements. As the majority of the country don’t sign up to one of these agreements, many almost look down on them.
Most people believe that they are to protect one person’s wealth – particularly if this person has significantly more money than their prospective husband or wife. However, according to Turlington Law, there are all sorts of other cases where a prenuptial agreement might be useful. Many of these are completely innocent reasons, while some may even protect the other party – which goes against most people’s thoughts.
Following on from this, let’s take a look at some of the main cases in why a prenup might be agreed.
Protect children from prior marriages
This first reason is one that is often overlooked, yet it happens to be one of the prime reasons why couples (generally those who are older) will agree to a prenup.
If a couple have children from other marriages, it stands to reason that they will want to offer a degree of protection to them. The vast majority of people will leave their assets to their children and if a prenup is not agreed, the surviving spouse can claim a large part of this and leave the children with much less.
Therefore, by putting together a prenuptial agreement, this can be avoided and children from past relationships can still benefit just as they would have done previously.
Protect the other person from debts
Another reason why prenups can be popular is to actually protect the other person from debts. While the general consensus might be that these agreements are only there to protect one party, there are umpteen examples of one half of a couple deciding that they wish to protect the other in the worst case scenario.
Without a prenup, debts can be passed on. When a prenuptial agreement is signed, it offers a layer of protection to the other person meaning that they won’t be responsible in the worst case scenario.
Avoid any disagreement if the worst does happen
This is perhaps one of the rarer reasons for a prenuptial agreement, but it’s one that still occurs nevertheless.
Some couples like to plan for the worst case scenario – even if that means effectively planning for divorce. In other words, if they do get into difficulties, they like to have a plan in place to avoid any potential arguments later down the line. Without a prenup, all sorts of negotiations have to take place and unsurprisingly, plenty of disputes can arise.
It’s worth noting that there are some restrictions with how this sort of prenuptial agreement is arranged. For example, some states don’t allow spouses to give up their right to alimony – and this is another reason why this motive for a prenup is rarely exercised. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that some states won’t waive alimony if the spouse gave it up without using a lawyer.