A prenup carries a lot of associations. Mistrust, greed, negativity, financial stability…wait. While in the past, prenuptial agreements—a contract signed before marriage to explicitly arrange the finances of each party and how they will combine—tended to evoke the first three feelings, the trend lately has been toward the last.
Prenups are Back in Style
The Wall Street Journal reports that baby boomers are hopping on the prenup wagon, and not out of paranoia. After the recession, people have been more willing to establish the legal framework that will allow them to hold onto their assets as best they can.
A Prenup is a Legal Agreement
For the boomers, especially, finances can get complicated. They are the first generation with such high divorce and remarriage rates, and that means complicated situations when it comes to family and inheritance. A prenup not only spells out what happens in the case of divorce, but also who currently owns each asset and therefore who decides which family members own it next.
The lack of a prenuptial agreement means that upon separation, a couple’s assets will be subject to state laws. A prenup can help the asset-holders retain more control over their property, but legally, it can’t violate state laws or policy.
Everyone Needs a Lawyer
A key takeaway is this: make sure that each party is represented by a lawyer when establishing a prenup. Reveal all assets and all debt—to hide financial information undermines legitimacy if the agreement is ever brought to court. A lawyer can help divide personal and business assets, and should be consulted honestly to protect assets in the best way possible.
After all, a partner isn’t the only thing to be loved, honored, and cherished.