Why a Prenuptial Agreement Is Good for Your Marriage

Marriage is not only a public statement of a couple’s emotional commitment, but a powerful legal and economic relationship. At CT Mediation Center, we believe prenuptial agreements are a tool for money management and financial planning—not a blueprint for divorce. This is Part 1 in a series on Prenuptial Agreements.

Marriage is not only a public statement of a couple’s emotional commitment, but a powerful legal and economic relationship. At CT Mediation Center, we believe prenuptial agreements are a tool for money management and financial planning—not a blueprint for divorce. This is Part 1 in a series on Prenuptial Agreements.

It’s true: having a prenuptial agreement unnerves many a bride and groom to be. While the media tends to play this worry out in lurid detail, there are some excellent reasons to get a prenuptial agreement. We’ve shared four below.

 

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement determines how a couple splits their finances in the event of a divorce. It is a contract that is researched, written, and signed before the marriage takes place. A prenuptial agreement is also called a premarital agreement or an antenuptial agreement.

 

Four Reasons to have a Prenuptial Agreement

Number 1: Protect Your Assets. When it comes to getting a divorce, divvying up who owns what is more than mooning over a vinyl record collection.

The longer you wait to get married—in 2014 the average age was a notch under 30—the more likely you are to have assets. That means you might have a house or a vacation home. You might even have your own business. A prenuptial agreement allows you to legally establish what was yours before you get married.

This is important because Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, but with a twist. In Connecticut, all property is considered marital property. It does not matter how it is titled, when it was acquired, or whether it was received as a gift or inheritance. This distinction makes Connecticut an “all-property” state: when it comes time to split the assets, everything the couple owns is fair game.

Because of the latitude family law courts have here, a prenuptial agreement, prepared by an attorney at CT Mediation Center, can help make the settlement process go more smoothly.

Number 2: Debt Management. As of August, 2015, American households owed $11.85 TRILLION in debt including credit card, mortgage, and student loan debt. So you can see it’s highly likely one or both spouses will enter a new marriage with debt. Some debt is a carryover from your single days, some of it is accumulated during your married years.

Because Connecticut is an “all property” state, you will have your share of bills to pay if your marriage dissolves. A prenuptial agreement is one way to clarify whose debt is whose before the marriage.

Number 3: Providing for Your Children. In today’s society, it is common for parents to marry, start a family, divorce and remarry. Your children from that first union deserve to have their needs considered, and a prenuptial agreement is the starting point to make this happen.

When it comes to children and your prenuptial agreement, it is vital to understand that child custody or child support issues cannot be covered by the agreement. This is a complex area of law that an attorney at CT Mediation Center can help you navigate.

Number 4: You’re a Same-Sex Couple about to Get Married. While same-sex couples have struggled long and hard for the right to wed, the right to divorce—and the distribution of property—is a comparatively new issue.

As individuals within a relationship, many same-sex couples are likely to have significant financial assets, established careers, and equity in their homes. As mentioned earlier, they are also likely to have lingering debts and liabilities. Add to that, they might have also adopted children or gone the surrogate parent route.

Same-sex unions are saddled with legal complexities that will likely take family court years to resolve. One way to avoid this challenge is with a prenuptial agreement.

If you are ready to write your prenuptial agreement or have additional questions about the process, an attorney at CT Mediation Center can help. Please contact us at (860)986-1141 to schedule an appointment today.


Learn More

To learn more about how divorce mediation can help your case, contact any of our Divorce Attorney Mediators or Certified Divorce Financial Analysts at CT Divorce Mediation Centers. Divorce and Family Mediation and Collaborative Law are all we do. We have offices in Madison, New Haven, Cheshire, West Hartford, Glastonbury, West Hartford, and Windsor, CT. To find out more information or to schedule a consultation with our divorce experts, call us at (860) 986-1141.

DISCLAIMER:This publication is not meant to constitute legal, accounting, financial, investment advisory, or other professional advice. If legal, financial, investment advisory or other professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person such as CT Divorce Mediation center, should be sought.

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