Did you recently become engaged to the man or woman of your dreams? If so, are you thinking about drawing up a prenuptial agreement? Or, perhaps your fiancé wants a prenuptial agreement and now you’re trying to learn more about them. Either way, we’re going to shed light on what prenuptial agreements can and cannot do. This way, you can better understand if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
Many people perceive prenuptial agreements as “unromantic” and when their fiancé says they want one, their immediate reaction is that their fiancé does not have faith that their marriage will last. While these feelings are understandable, they do not typically reflect the way a fiancé feels about their partner. Fiancés, especially those of high-net-worth, look at prenuptial agreements as a sort of insurance policy.
Prenuptial Agreements Are Insurance
You don’t plan to get into a car accident, but you purchase auto insurance. You don’t intend to have cavities, but you purchase dental insurance. You don’t intend to be rushed to the emergency room, but to avoid a hefty bill, you carry health insurance. Prenuptial agreements are no different; they protect you financially in case the marriage doesn’t work out for any reason. Not everybody needs a prenuptial agreement; they definitely serve certain people more than others. You may benefit from a prenuptial agreement if:
- One or both of you are wealthy
- One of you owns a business
- You want to keep certain assets “separate”
- There are children from a previous relationship
- One or both of you have separate property, such as real estate
- You want certain assets to go to family or charity
- You want to hand down specific assets to your children
There are many advantages to having a prenuptial agreement, namely, it allows you to control the distribution of your assets should your marriage end in divorce. Without a prenuptial agreement, one of two things would happen: 1) you would have to reach a settlement agreement with your spouse, or 2) if you couldn’t reach an agreement, your property would be divided according to Nevada’s community property laws. Under Nevada’s community property law, both spouses are entitled to 50 percent of all assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of who earned the money or whose name is on the title.
In high-net worth marriages, it’s not uncommon for spouses to argue over asset division. When couples litigate, they lose all control and the judge divides their hard-earned assets for them. By having a well-drafted prenuptial agreement firmly in place before the marriage, the couple knows what to expect in the case of a divorce, and all of the mystery over the outcome is effectively removed from the equation.
Does a prenuptial agreement communicate mistrust? No, quite the contrary. When couples draft prenups, they must be completely honest about their financial situation, which means they are being open about their financials from the very beginning, which many couples feel encourages trust and respect.
Special note: Prenuptial agreements cannot address child custody (even for future children); however, they can determine what happens to separate and community (marital property) in the event of a divorce.
Looking for a Las Vegas family law attorney to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement? Contact Leavitt Law Firm to work with a top-rated legal team!