Monday, November 5, 2018

How Will I Know? Get a Pre-Nup...

One of the late, great Whitney Houston's first hits leads to a very good question clients often have pre-marriage... How will you know if he/she really loves you?  How long will that love last? Before marriage, should you consider a pre-nuptial agreement, when everything is good between you, to protect you both agree you both in the event of a divorce?

It depends on your situation. If you both agree and decide together that a pre-nup is in the cards, an attorney can help you out on this. Several reasons exist for a pre-nup, not just a lack of trust.  You can still "fall in love whenever you meet," and have trust and a strong relationship, but you can also agree to go into the relationship with open eyes and honesty.

Pre-nups allow couples to keep the items they bring into the marriage separate in case of a divorce. They also allow couples to make determinations, when things are good and happy, about what property division may look like if things aren't so good and happy in case of a split. 

Additionally, pre-nups are useful to allow people to keep things like family heirlooms clearly separate that otherwise, in the State of Indiana, would be presumed to be a part of the marital estate in a divorce case. While there is a presumption that can be rebutted as to family heirlooms and inheritances, clear language in a pre-nup allows couples to have less to fight about when they may be at their worst, emotionally exhausted going through a divorce.

Pre-nups are also helpful to allow couples to be clear about intentions regarding pre-marital assets, estate planning, and taxation.  If you want to keep things separate for kids of a prior marriage or keep a business interest separate or your assets in a trust separate, a pre-nup can do that without the messiness that could later occur if divorce rears its ugly head.  Pre-nups don't plan for divorce; rather, pre-nups help in the event a divorce happens.

*The opinions expressed are of the blogger only and were not intended as legal advice or as an avenue to open a lawyer-client relationship.