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Is a prenuptial agreement a good idea?

If you and your fiancé are an Ohio couple deep into the planning of your upcoming wedding, the last thing you probably want to think about is a prenuptial agreement. Prenups have received an unjustified bad reputation over the years as documents that rich people sign before getting married because they do not trust each other and therefore want to protect their respective assets from each other.

While prenups do indeed contain financial agreements, they have very little to do with mutual trust and everything to do with mutual common sense and responsible planning for an always uncertain future. Given that the American divorce rate has hovered around 50 percent for the past 30 years, the reality is that you face a one in two chance that you and your soon-to-be spouse will not remain married to each other for the rest of your lives. There are a lot of advantages to coming to some basic financial agreements now rather than waiting to see if and when the worst happens.

What to include

FindLaw explains that your prenuptial agreement can contain virtually anything and everything you want it to as long as those things relate to your finances. For instance, you may wish to include some of the following:

  • A description of the major assets that each of you currently own and which you agree to consider as separate property during your marriage
  • The way in which each of you will provide for any children you currently have by a previous relationship
  • The way in which the two of you will handle your respective credit cards and the debts they represent
  • The way in which the two of you will handle your respective 401(k)s and other investments you may make during your marriage
  • The way in which the two of you plan to handle any business or professional practice you establish during your marriage

What not to include

Bear in mind that your prenup can cover only financially-related matters, not personal issues the two of you may face during your marriage. For instance, while you may agree on which household chores each of you will perform, that cannot be part of your prenup. Nor can it contain any personal agreements you may have with regard to parenting responsibilities, visiting your respective families, or anything else of a purely personal nature.

While this information is not legal advice, it can help you understand the purposes of prenuptial agreements and what you can include in yours.

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