Marital agreements are often called prenuptial or postnuptial contracts. Prenups happen before the marriage, and postnups happen after the wedding. When we envision these contracts, we often imagine someone simply protecting their money.
Financial protection is a very real part of the prenup process, and it is a big reason to use one. Marriage laws often combine the finances of both parties for any wealth acquired during the marriage. With a prenuptial agreement, you can assign property to individuals. Money that either party makes on their own, for example, can be designated as belonging to just them.
If the marriage should end, a marital agreement can make determinations beforehand about property division, spousal support, and so on. Having these decisions in writing will keep both parties from the misery and frustration of trying to make them later.
Other benefits of a prenuptial contract are often overlooked. You can make determinations about virtually every aspect of the marriage. Marriage is, after all, a pragmatic partnership, and it’s helpful to clear up the pragmatic parts of the marriage beforehand. By finalizing these ideas and putting them in writing, this frees you up to focus on what’s most important, the relationship.
Here is a list of just some of the other things you can decide with a prenuptial agreement.
You Can Plan for Monthly Spending
While still related to money, spending in the marriage is not the same as protecting assets. Any couple, from the modest to the millionaires, can decide how to manage bills, savings, disposable income, and so forth. In a premarital contract, you can decide these things beforehand. You can put each partner on allowance, for example, making sure that no one cuts into the savings or investments.
Division of Labor
Marriages involve emotional work, but they also entail practical work that’s done around the home. Someone has to do the cooking and cleaning, take out the garbage, manage the pets, and so on. Through a marital contract, you can decide how to divide this labor now without trying to figure it about as you go. This can help alleviate a lot of strife in the marriage, and it can keep everyone honest.
All parents love their children, but not all parents have the same set of skills. Often, parents fall into different roles. One parent, for instance, is better at helping with education, while the other is a more capable disciplinarian. It may be difficult to split such chores now, especially if children are not yet part of the relationship. However, each person probably has some idea of which parts of parenting they do or don’t want to do, and they can make these decisions now.
If aspects like that are too specific for you, you could consider using your prenup for decision-making power. Imagine that, in your relationship, one of you is a doctor and the other is a professor. You can decide that when it comes to your child’s healthcare matters, the doctor will have final say on all such decisions. The professor, then, has jurisdiction over educational concerns.
Your prenuptial agreement can be as specific or broad as you want. Every couple is unique. Things that may seem silly to one couple can be hugely important to another. Couples can argue over anything from the thermostat to how long you should let laundry sit in the dryer. You can actually make determinations such as these through a prenuptial contract. Anything that matters to you can be put in writing and certified. The more strife you can remove from the inherent troubles related to two people living together, the better. You can go back to the love and joy that brought you together, letting the minor frustrations of life be managed by your agreement.
For help drafting a prenuptial agreement, contact us for a consultation. You can reach out online or call us at (702) 904-9898.