Wealthy couples commonly use premarital, or prenuptial, agreements to determine how their property gets divided if they get divorced in the future. However, there might be some excellent reasons for average-income Minnesota couples to use this tool and avoid a costly divorce. Although drafting a prenuptial agreement could cost more than $5,000, the benefits of having one might far outweigh the costs.
A premarital agreement defines ownership of property. When one or both spouses enter a marriage with their own property, a prenup could ensure they don’t lose it in a divorce. This is especially important in blended families where one spouse wants to protect property for his or her children from a previous relationship. Instead of avoiding the tough financial conversations early in a relationship, couples who draft these kinds of agreements may spend less in divorce court. Since disputes about money are a leading cause of divorce, having serious conversations about it earlier could result in longer marriages.
Often, one spouse in a marriage knows significantly less about the family finances than the other. While this might not cause conflict during a marriage, it could make divorce quite contentious and expensive. To prevent this problem, couples could review their prenuptial agreements annually. Annual asset and debt disclosure could help a couple resolve financial issues before they become major problems in the marriage.
A couple that gets a divorce without a prenuptial agreement may have to spend months determining how they will divide their assets and debts. An experienced family law attorney might help a client draft one of these agreements well before they actually need it so they don’t have to spend unnecessary time in divorce court later.