You’ve heard all of the reasons you shouldn’t get a prenup. It’s not romantic. Your future spouse may get angry. You need to stay committed to the marriage. You may never need it, anyway.
Prenups are a bit of a contentious topic, and most of the reasons are emotional. Logically speaking, the divorce rate remains high and many marriage are going to end. No, it’s not fun to talk about before the wedding, but it’s the reality.
With that in mind, here are four reasons you may at least want to consider a prenup.
1. One person has massive debt or plans to accumulate it.
Your future spouse wants to go back to school and get a Master’s degree. It’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. It may be wise to put that in a prenup so that you don’t end up paying for half of that education even if you get divorced in five years.
It’s also important to consider debt or major assets that are already owned. You bought a house yourself, for example. Your spouse will move in after the wedding day. Who pays the mortgage? Are you going to refinance and put it in both of your names? If you split up, do you keep the house? If it goes up in value while you’re married, is your spouse entitled to that money? These are just a few questions to ask.
2. This is not your first marriage, and you have kids.
You’re excited to have your new spouse in the kids’ lives, but you also know that your decision impacts them now. You’re not just risking your own assets. While prenups can’t address child support and custody issues for any new kids you have together, they can protect assets for the kids you already have.
3. You own a company.
Having a company can get complicated during divorce. Does your spouse have a right to the value of the company’s growth? Did you use marital assets to finance the company? You do not want a divorce to put your business in jeopardy or cause it to close, so a simple prenup may protect it.
4. You don’t plan to work at all.
You have a career now, but you’re quitting as soon as you’re married. You and your new spouse are moving for his or her career. You plan to become a stay-at-home parent or go back to school. Either way, you’re giving up a lot of income and career opportunities, and the prenup can protect that financial decision.
It’s true that a prenup isn’t for everyone. However, you must look at these four factors as red flags. If any of them show up, it pays to investigate your legal options to make sure you understand them completely.