Prenups have acquired something of a negative stigma because of misconceptions. A pre-nuptial agreement (also sometimes called a pre-marital agreement) is a written contract agreed to before the marriage. It gives both parties a chance to agree on what should happen in the event of a divorce while both parties are still amicable.  It gives both parties another way to protect children from a prior relationship in the event of a spouse’s untimely death.  It allows the spouses to create a specific plan to protect their loved ones and their assets for when the marriage ends unexpectedly.  It can also specify who is responsible for some of the debts and liabilities.

Spouse Debt: Can a Prenup Save You?

The Basics of a Prenup

Before signing a prenup, the couple will generally first be required to disclose their property and their debts to the other party.  In order for the Court to honor the terms of a prenup, the prenup must be not unfair at the time it is signed.  The prenup can include how certain debts should be divided should the marriage end in a divorce.  This can be especially helpful to define in a prenup when one party is bringing a lot of debt with them into the marriage.

Be Proactive

For some couples, a prenup can make them feel uncomfortable. It’s as if the bonds of love written by the heart are being undermined and reduced to a business transaction. That being said, in many cases, a prenup is just as important as a life insurance policy. No one really wants to think about a loved one dying to collect on the policy, but the family is often very grateful that life insurance was purchased when a loved one does pass away and the dependents need support.  A well-drafted prenup can have the same effect. If you believe a prenup may be helpful in your case, the best thing to do is to get it done well in advance of the wedding day bliss.

Additional Reading: Separate bank accounts will not protect your money in a divorce—here’s what will

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