Talking finances may not be the most romantic part of getting ready for your big day, but more and more Americans are getting prenuptial agreements before tying the knot—whether for the first time or fifth. Business Insider notes that, between 2013 and 2016, family law attorneys saw a 62% increase in requests for prenups.
Millennials, who tend to marry later than previous generations, seem to be driving the prenup trend. However, financial advisors increasingly recommend this important estate planning tool for anyone getting married. That is especially true when one or both partners have children from a previous marriage or ownership in a family business, or when new spouses have a significant disparity of assets.
- Providing for children from a former marriage
Whether children are dependent minors or independent adults, a prenup is essential for ensuring that kids from a previous marriage receive needed financial support, regardless of what the future brings. When a remarrying couple simply combines their assets, there is always the possibility that death or divorce could lead to the state, rather than the parents, deciding how to distribute shared marital property.
- Protecting a family business
If either spouse has a business, a prenup should include a fair valuation of that business and an agreement on how partners will share profits and losses during the marriage. The document should also specify upfront how much of the business holdings might pass onto the other spouse in the event of divorce or death.
- Accounting for asset disparity
A prenuptial agreement is also important when one spouse has significantly more assets than the other. Getting a fair division of finances outlined before the wedding helps to ensure that hard-earned holdings do not become subject to government-required distribution if a marriage does not work out, but can also provide important protections for the spouse entering a marriage with fewer assets.
- Strengthening financial communication
Many couples put off having serious financial discussions before the wedding. However, studies continue to show that having those talks early—and putting them in writing—may help to prevent misunderstandings down the road.