If you plan to promise to love, honor and cherish your partner until death do you part, the idea of making a prenuptial agreement is likely the farthest thing from your mind. In fact, if someone suggested that you and your intended sign such a contract, you may have felt insulted or even angry.
Premarital agreements, like life insurance policies, are something people put in place hoping they never have to use them. However, what you may not realize is that, if you and your spouse don’t have a prenuptial contract, in the unfortunate event that your marriage ends, the Arizona courts already have a plan in place.
Beyond dividing marital assets
Archaic notions of the prenuptial agreement portray it as a document outlining who gets what if a couple should divorce. However, premarital contracts are much more sophisticated, and they can even benefit your marriage. Consider that one of the stipulations of creating such a document is that both you and your future spouse must make a full disclosure of your financial situations. Such frank conversations early in the marriage may help you avoid conflict in the future.
While any marriage can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, you may find one especially valuable if any of the following pertain to you:
- You own a business.
- You have family heirlooms or valuables you inherited.
- You have children from a previous relationship.
- Your future spouse has tremendous debt.
- You and your spouse have decided that one of you will forego a career to stay home with the children.
A premarital agreement can address these variables and determine a fair way to protect both of your interests. If you leave the fate of your marriage to the courts, there is no guarantee that the division of assets will be fair for either of you.
For better or for worse
You and your spouse may be joining in matrimony for your own personal reasons. These reasons may include deep feelings for each other that make it difficult to broach the subject of a premarital agreement. However, the uncertainty of the future and the unique aspects of your marriage may underscore the importance of planning ahead. Additionally, the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement go beyond the possibility of a divorce.
Speaking with an experienced attorney will enlighten you to the options available for your prenuptial contract. When you meet with your attorney, you can ask all the honest questions you have about this type of agreement, and you will receive frank and knowledgeable answers.