Once the exclusive domain of the wealthy, premarital agreements are now popular for all marriage types.
Premarital agreements can help establish parameters that go beyond assets
The modern American family is much different today than it was just a few decades ago. Nowadays it is not unheard of for both parents to be working or for spouses to have already had children from previous relationships before marrying. As the family has evolved, premarital agreements, which were once thought of as being exclusively for rich soon-to-be spouses, have become increasingly popular for all types of marriages, according to the Wall Street Journal. Experts say that such agreements present clear benefits for almost all couples, regardless of wealth or social backgrounds.
Evenly matched assets
Premarital agreements still suffer from a fairly bad reputation, with the most common cliché being that such agreements are only for the rich older man trying to protect his assets when marrying a younger and financially dependent spouse. Today, however, spouses who come to a marriage with the same income and wealth levels are likely to find benefits to drafting a premarital agreement.
Such evenly matched couples often want to protect their own assets, which can become complicated when such assets are mingled in joint accounts. A premarital agreement can help determine what share of those accounts ultimately belong to each spouse. Furthermore, while two separate assets may be valued the same on paper-such as two rental properties-they may be worth widely different amounts when it comes to potential cash flow. As a result, a premarital agreement can clarify how these assets are to be dealt with before they present potentially contentious problems in the future.
A premarital agreement is also important to keep in mind for blended families. Being on a second or third marriage is not at all unusual today, and in such marriages spouses may have children from previous relationships. Because of the unique nature of each blended family, parents will want to make sure whatever assets or investments they have set aside for their children are adequately protected in the event of a divorce.
Also, as USA Today points out, premarital agreements are not necessarily limited to asset protection. Some agreements may even include parameters about how parental duties are to be divided or which parent will cover which expenses related to raising the children. Again, clearly defining such parameters in a premarital agreement is likely to be particularly beneficial to spouses who are already coming into a marriage with their own children.
Although premarital agreements are certainly less taboo today than they were in the past, many people still find it difficult to discuss such a topic with their spouses. By speaking with a family law attorney, however, couples will find somebody with the knowledge and expertise that can help dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding premarital agreements and who can assist couples in drafting an agreement that fits their needs and expectations.