Prenuptial agreements are contracts signed by those who want to make a lifelong commitment to one another but who also understand that life does not always turn out in the ways in which one hopes and plans. Couples may use these agreements to talk about what they expect from the relationship and also what might happen if they eventually divorce.
Prenuptial agreements were once quite rare but have become much more common as Millennials and older members of Gen Z have started to marry. Almost all couples can benefit to some degree from creating a prenuptial agreement. Even if they remain married for life, the process of discussing what they expect from the marriage and plan to contribute to their partnership can potentially set them up for greater relationship success. With that said, those in any of the three scenarios below would likely derive particularly strong benefits from a prenuptial agreement than the average individual might.
When people decide to remarry
The divorce rate for second or subsequent marriages is higher than the overall divorce rate for first marriages. Therefore, those planning to remarry after a divorce or to marry someone who divorced previously would likely benefit from having a prenuptial agreement in place before they get married. Especially in blended families where the spouses do not share children, clarifying what they will share with one another and what remains separate can be very important.
When someone has property to protect
If one of the people in the relationship already owns their own house with no mortgage or has a successful business in their name, they may not relish the idea of risking those assets when they get married. Those who already have property that they don’t want to commingle and put at risk if they divorce may want to sign a prenuptial agreement that clearly identifies certain assets as their separate property.
When spouses want to maintain separate finances
One of the ways that modern couples with two working professionals in the household prevent financial conflict is by keeping their financial resources completely separate. Agreeing ahead of time that each spouse will retain their own income separately and that they will cover specific household expenses with their own resources can be a way to prevent disputes about spending habits and how couples share their marital income and personal resources.
Essentially, those who already have valuable resources, successful careers or complex families may want to consider prenuptial agreements even more carefully than the average couple celebrating a recent engagement. Discussing a prenuptial agreement can give both people in a relationship more confidence about their upcoming marriage and more protection regardless of what happens down the road.