After the wedding party is over and all the gifts have been unwrapped, the newly-wed couple settles back and realizes that life continues in a normal fashion. Reality sets in sooner than they expect and before long, they find themselves dealing with the same matters they dealt with when they were single.
One such matter is their finances.
While most couples succeed at creating an effective financial plan for their future family, some are not as lucky and find themselves parting ways because of money matters. One way of settling this sensitive issue between couples is by having a prenuptial agreement.
What are prenuptial agreements and is this something everybody should consider before getting married? Why do couples frown at the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement only to regret not having one in the end?
We researched on this topic and gathered relevant information that can help soon-to-be husbands and wives appreciate the value of having a prenuptial agreement before taking the plunge.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A Prenuptial Agreement is a contract that covers the provisions on a couple’s division of property in the event of a separation (annulment, legal separation). It sounds morbid (and oh so unromantic) but it will save you from the legal and emotional complications of separating properties in case the marriage does not work.
Why should a couple consider having a prenuptial agreement?
Contrary to popular belief, a Prenuptial Agreement is open not only to well-to-do couples and celebrities. Even an average income earner must seriously consider signing one. Below is a list of probable reasons to consider having a prenuptial agreement:
- One of you has children from a previous relationship.Your children from your previous marriage or relationship are heirs to your properties. You can protect your children’s claims to their inheritance through a prenuptial agreement.
- One of you is a national of a country with a different set of rules governing property ownership.Since different countries have different laws regarding property ownership, a prenuptial agreement between you and your foreign national partner will simplify these matters.
- One of you is a co-owner of a business or an asset.Once you get married, your spouse automatically becomes a co-owner of a business you co-owned before the wedding. If your business partners are not open to the idea of having an additional business partner, you may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. This shall put your business partners’ qualms on shares to rest.
- One of you owns a considerable amount of assets.Your inheritance, savings from when you were single, or shares in a family business, are assets acquired prior to your marriage. You have the liberty to choose to manage these assets on your own even after getting married. To ensure your sole ownership, sign a prenuptial agreement.
In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, what governs the property relations between the spouses?
All properties acquired during the marriage shall be considered conjugal properties where husband and wife share in the property’s ownership.
For a prenuptial agreement to be legal and binding, the couple must both enter into it voluntarily. Have the document notarized and recorded in the local civil registry. This must be accomplished BEFORE your wedding date.