As you and your partner prepare for marriage, you probably have a list of things to complete before the big day. Signing a prenuptial agreement may not be on the list. Perhaps this is because you are confident that your marriage will stand the test of time, and you don't want to start your life together by deciding how you will divide your property if you divorce.
These are reasonable arguments, and it is common for engaged couples to resist the idea of a prenup because they don't want to taint the optimism of the moment. However, a prenuptial agreement can actually be a generous gift to your partner because it can provide protection and security against an uncertain future. It can also be a way to broach delicate and vital topics that couples just starting out are reluctant to discuss.
Looking out for each other
The state of Massachusetts already has a plan for dividing your assets if you should get divorced. You may have different ideas about how you would want to split what you own, which assets you are willing to divide and those you will not consider marital property. In addition, there may be special circumstances that make signing a prenup a critical step in your relationship, such as:
- You have assets your family would like to protect.
- Your spouse has substantial debt for which you do not want to be responsible, or you want to protect your spouse from your debt.
- You or your intended have children from a previous relationship, and you want to protect certain assets for them without putting each other through a court battle.
- You or your partner have a business you want to keep separate from marital assets to avoid having to dissolve the business in a divorce.
- You simply want to avoid going through a prolonged and contentious divorce if the relationship does not survive.
It is natural to focus on the good things when you are planning something as hopeful as a wedding. You can use that optimism as you draft your prenuptial agreement by making decisions based on your devotion to each other.
If you are nervous about suggesting a prenuptial agreement to your partner, you may assure your intended that the agreement can protect the interests of both of you. With the counsel of individual attorneys, you and your partner can create a prenuptial agreement that is fair, respectful and written with your mutual interests at heart.