The holiday season is filled with cheer. According to a publication in The Atlantic, many couples use the momentum of this cheer to propel them into proposals of marriage. The piece notes that almost one-third of engagements occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Reasons behind this spike in proposals during the holidays abound. Some experts in the piece point to couples getting inspired by the cozy, twinkly atmosphere and others take a more logical approach, saying couples are simply using those holiday bonuses to help offset the cost of the ring.
Whatever the reason for the engagement, it is wise to take a moment to step back and look at upcoming nuptials logically. In addition to pledging yourself to each other as romantic partners, you are also pledging to combine your assets.
In some cases, full combination of assets is not always the best option for the relationship. Three reasons that marriages can do better with a prenuptial agreement include:
- Communication. Putting together a prenuptial agreement provides an opportunity to communicate openly with your future spouse. It provides an incentive to talk about both sets of finances, to disclose all assets and liabilities. It allows the marriage to begin with a clear picture of where each partner stands financially.
- Business interests. If you or your future spouse has business interests it may be best to shelter these within a prenuptial agreement – otherwise the business could be impacted if there was a divorce. This can help better ensure the business is not impacted by the marriage.
- Retirement accounts. A recent article in Forbes touched on this issue, noting that the average age of marriage is rising. As such, more couples are entering marriage with retirement accounts that are already developed. A prenuptial agreement can better ensure that these assets remain separate.
It is important to stress that prenuptial agreements do not just account for assets, but also liabilities. If one spouse is entering the marriage with a large amount of debt, perhaps from loans to pay for medical or law school, it is often wise to have a prenuptial agreement to ensure the liability remains with the partner that accumulated the debt.
Whether crafting the prenup agreement yourself or reviewing the agreement proposed by a spouse, it is wise to seek legal counsel to review the document. Your attorney will advocate for your interests, working to better ensure the agreement protects your future interests.