Once, prenuptial agreements were considered only for the ultra-rich. Today, prenups are more popular than ever. In a 2013 survey released by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 63 percent of divorce lawyers are experiencing an increase in prenuptial agreements. One key finding in the survey indicated that more women were initiating requests for this type of agreement. Men aren't the only ones who wish to protect their property and assets when coming into a marriage. What's driving this trend? President of AAML suggests that it's because the financial and real estate markets improve. Another reason is that couples are waiting longer to get married, bringing more resources into the relationship. Deciding whether you need a prenup isn't always easy, but here are a few factors you should consider.
Are you an older bride or groom with a family?
According to Pew Research, the average age of first-time brides and grooms has been increasing. However, there's another trend that plays into protecting assets: couples who are on their second marriage and who need to protect their children in the event of a divorce or death. It's helpful for estate planning as one party can waive the portion of the estate that they may be entitled to.
Do you need to protect your social media interests?
When it comes to privacy and reputation, couples often have different expectations. What one person considers confidential, another may not. Some couples are even negotiating social media rights in prenuptial agreements to ensure their interests are protected in a divorce.
Are you storing embryos, eggs or sperm?
Prenups cannot dictate child support or visitation, but they can cover the right to embryos that are being stored for future reproduction. According to one report by CNBC, over 400,000 embryos are in storage. Couples should work out who decides what happens to them before the marriage.
Does one of you have a great deal of debt?
Because brides and grooms are often older when they get married, they also bring more debts into the marriage. Couples should determine before the wedding who is accountable for which assets to protect each other from ending up with more debt in the event of a divorce.
Do you have a business owned before the wedding?
Startups and stock options are difficult to valuate, and these assets can create a mess during a divorce. A prenup can protect business interests and keep an ex-spouse from getting involved in a business venture that was never part of the marriage. If you would like to learn more about setting up a prenuptial agreement, contact an experienced attorney with the knowledge and resources to get you started.