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Prenuptial agreements growing in popularity and necessity: Part I

Valentine's Day occurred earlier this week, and the dust may be just starting to settle for many Pittsburgh residents. There are few occasions which illicit such contrasting emotions, and most people either love or hate this holiday depending on their expectations and previous experiences.

Of course, the day is intended to celebrate love, which is why millions of Americans popped the question last Tuesday. But family law attorneys and finance professionals are using this week to remind these love-struck couples about an unromantic topic that will likely need to be discussed sooner rather than later: prenuptial agreements.

Most people mistakenly think that prenups only apply in situations where one partner is rich or in relationships where one partner is substantially older than the other. But the truth is that prenuptial agreements can protect the interests of both couples in many different types of relationships.

Family law attorneys say that couples should consider drafting a prenuptial agreement, especially if:

  • At least one partner is remarrying rather than marrying for the first time
  • Either partner is bringing in children from a previous marriage
  • Either partner is expecting to receive a significant inheritance
  • Either partner is involved in or financially tied to a family business
  • One or both partners is mid-career and wants to protect the wealth they have acquired thus far

Many couples will find that at least one of these factors is present in their relationship. And even if these don't apply to you, a prenup may still be a good idea. One attorney explains that, "All marriages terminate, whether it is in divorce or death. Signing a prenuptial agreement is assurance your assets go where you want them to."

Check back later this week as we continue our discussion about the importance and growing popularity of prenuptial agreements.

Source: Reuters, "When Valentines and prenups go together," Kathleen Kingsbury, Feb. 15, 2012

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