If your child has announced their plans to marry, no matter how much you may love your soon-to-be in-law, you may rightfully have some concerns about protecting family assets in case the marriage eventually ends.
There are ways to set up trusts for children that can be “divorce-proof.” However, if you have a family business or family trust, you may want to take that extra step of a prenuptial agreement to keep those assets in the family should the marriage end. Even if your child has no interest in the family business now, they may have part ownership of it or decide later to take on a larger role in running it.
More parents are getting involved in order to protect family wealth
If you’re concerned about these things, you’re not alone. One survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that close to two-thirds reported a rise in parents getting directly involved in their Millennial children’s prenups.
The key is not to get overly involved to the point where you’re dictating the terms or making your child’s fiancé feel pressured to sign. While you can and should make sure that the soon-to-be-newlyweds understand just what it is you want to protect, you shouldn’t involve yourself in other aspects of the agreement that don’t concern you.
The prenup can’t be coerced or one-sided
Many young people are relieved to have an excuse to get a prenup. If it’s a requirement of the business or the family trust, it seems less like you’re anticipating the eventual end of the marriage or you don’t fully trust the person you’re marrying. Their spouse-to-be, however, also has the right to seek their own terms. A prenup should never be about protecting just one party.
You want to protect your family’s wealth, but you also want to make sure the agreement will hold up in court if it ever has to be used. When both sides have their own legal representation, you can help ensure that the prenup is fair to everyone, that no one feels pressured or threatened to sign it and that the agreement doesn’t cause hurt, distrust or anger.