Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Maryland Law Blog

July 20, 2016
Category: General

prenup

When you are about to get married there are a million decisions that need to be made. From living arrangements to wedding details, the list of things to do and decisions to make can seem endless, but there is one decision that shouldn’t be ignored. It is essential for you and your partner to decide if you want a prenuptial agreement before you get married. This decision is very personal, and there are several factors that should be taken into account when making your decision, let’s take a look at some of those factors.

Do you have sizeable assets?

One major thing to consider when deciding if you need a prenuptial agreement, is what you have to lose. Do you personally have a significant amount of money? Do you have anything of great value, such as an heirloom or investment piece? If you plan to enter into a marriage with a large amount of money, or any items of great value, a prenuptial agreement is a wise decision and will protect you and your assets in the event of divorce.

Do you own real estate apart from your partner?

Owning real estate is also a red flag when considering a prenuptial agreement. If you own a property (or multiple) prior to getting married, it’s important to determine the properties’ worth prior to saying “I do” and decide if you need a prenup because of it. In the event of a divorce, without a prenup the property could be considered both of yours, and be divided, even if you owned it before the marriage took place.

Does your will include heirs other than your partner?

Do you have children from a prior marriage or relationship? Your will and heirs are an important consideration when marrying. Your decisions in regards to your marriage can have a huge impact on your children and family members should the unthinkable happen. A prenuptial agreement not only protects you, but also those who are intended to inherit your estate. Should you pass away unexpectedly with no prenuptial agreement, your spouse (or ex-spouse) and children are left to sort out who receives what portion of your estate and/or properties.

Are you a business owner?

Owning a business is a huge commitment, and a huge financial investment and asset. If you are a business owner who is considering a prenup, seriously consider whether it is the right decision for you. You’ve put countless hours and dollars into your business, and should you get divorced without a prenuptial agreement, that business could cease to be solely yours. If your business has shareholders, or is only partially yours, it is especially important to have a prenup in place.

Marriage is a huge decision, and thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement while you are in the middle of wedding planning isn’t the most romantic thing, but it is important. Many people feel it won’t be necessary, and wind up regretting that decision years later. It is important to think long and hard about what you stand to lose should you get married without one, and that marriage ends.

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