As Philadelphia prenup lawyers we hear one question again and again: “I don’t really need a prenup…do I?”
We get it. Prenups don’t seem very romantic. Asking for one makes you feel like you’re saying you don’t trust your partner.
So how do you know you need one?
Here’s the short, simple way to tell.
Are you getting married? Then you probably need one.
It’s Not About Current Assets
You may not be worth much now, but you could have some incredible assets down the road. As Forbes notes, you could be an entrepreneur with $11 in your bank account and need one, because by the time you get divorced you could have a thriving business you’ll want to protect.
Are you going to put your spouse through school, or plan to take out more student loans while married? You need a prenup.
Do you have any kind of intellectual property?
Have you already started saving for retirement?
Do you have kids from a previous marriage you might want to make provisions for in a will?
And if there are some concerns the prenup will be unfair to the spouse with fewer assets, that’s what a lawyer is for. Keep in mind judges will not honor a prenup that is too unfair or unbalanced.
There are real advantages to doing this now.
When would you rather discuss what dividing assets and debts would look like? When you’re in love, and still working together as a team, or when you’re angry at each other and falling apart?
As many have noted, discussing your financial situation now could even lead to bringing you closer. And if the marriage works out, you’re going to have to have frank, honest discussions about money and assets for the rest of your life. Building a prenup gets you both in the habit of financial honesty, and does so early.
Don’t be afraid to be realistic. High divorce rates mean planning for the worst is smart. And paradoxically, talking about all this before you say “I do” may actually shield you from divorce, as it ensures neither party has to deal with unpleasant financial surprises once the honeymoon is done.