By Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.
You’ve undoubtedly read about studies examining today’s young adults putting off marriage. Those studies have not only examined why we are getting married later, but also the economic impact of marrying later in life. By our late twenties and early thirties, many of us have obtained advanced degrees, found stable jobs, and may even be running successful businesses. We are entering into marriage with more financial stability and a greater understanding of who we are as well as what we want out of a marriage.
Our generation also grew up regularly hearing the statistic that “50% of marriages end in divorce,” with many of us being the product of divorced parents. Given our generation’s experience with divorce, and tendency to marry later, pre-nuptial agreements may become the wave of the future. We all know the storyline about the wealthy man wanting his soon—to-be wife to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. These stories often lead people to believe pre-nuptial agreements are only for the substantially wealthy. They are not. As the current generation of 20- and 30-somethings and those to follow approach marriage, pre-nuptial agreements should be given serious consideration, as they allow for a cleaner break from a spouse if the relationship sours.
While pre-nuptial agreements can’t be used to deal with parenting issues, , many divorcing couples argue over money or simply can’t agree about anything. A carefully considered pre-nuptial agreement should allow you to divide assets and deal with many support issues without an expensive and time-consuming legal battle. The cost of preparing a pre-nuptial agreement can vary depending on assets and negotiations, just as the cost of litigating a divorce can vary depending on issues in dispute; however, the cost of drafting a pre-nuptial agreement is typically much lower than that of a divorce.
Besides saving anger, frustration, and money in the event of divorce or even death, drafting a pre-nuptial agreement requires you and your future spouse to sit down and discuss your financial position, your expectations, and your view of money. Many couples fail to do this before they say “I do,” even though issues relating to money are the leading cause of divorce. Knowing where you stand, where your future spouse stands, and gaining some comfort about your finances long term can all be achieved in preparing a pre-nuptial agreement. While you may think that no matter what happens you and your future spouse will be able to agree on a resolution if the marriage fails, hurt feelings and anger boiling up at the time of the actual divorce often make this impossible. Consulting a family law attorney familiar with drafting pre-nuptial agreements, like the attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C., should be your first step in the process.