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Understanding the Pros &
Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

William E. Morgan, Attorney at Law June 10, 2022

Getting married is one of the biggest decisions a person may make in their life. However, marriage may also involve a number of other difficult decisions, such as signing a prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup.

Prenuptial Agreement on a table.In recent years, the stigma surrounding prenups has been dissipating. An increasing number of couples throughout the United States choose to get a prenup as a way to safeguard their assets and keep their funds separate.

However, there is still a large number of people who do not understand the advantages of getting a prenuptial agreement and do not know whether signing a prenup would be appropriate in their specific situation. William E. Morgan, Attorney at Law is a Washington-based family law attorney who serves clients throughout Grays Harbor County, Washington, including Montesano, Hoquiam, and Aberdeen. Contact him today with your questions and concerns regarding prenuptial agreements. 

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Before considering the pros and cons of prenuptial agreements, it is essential to understand what a prenup does and does not cover. A prenup is a written contract between two individuals before they enter into a marriage. Typically, the document lists all of the property and assets each party owns before the marriage and outlines their property rights after they become legally married.

Most prenups address the following subjects:

  • The spouses’ rights to property, including property owned by spouses before the marriage

  • The spouses’ rights in the management of a business

  • The distribution of property and debts in the event of divorce or death of one of the spouses

  • Whether or not a spouse will be awarded alimony in the event of divorce

  • Other issues related to property, assets, and finances that the parties want to address in the agreement

While a prenup can address a wide range of issues, there are certain things the document cannot cover. Specifically, Washington law prohibits parties from determining child custody and child support in prenuptial agreements.

What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you cannot decide whether you should get a prenuptial agreement, you should learn more about the pros and cons of prenups. Some of the advantages of getting a prenuptial agreement include:

You can protect what is rightfully yours. As a rule of thumb, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. In Washington, items considered marital property is usually split between the spouses equally when they get a divorce. However, the property you owned before the marriage may be mixed with marital property. For this purpose, creating a prenuptial agreement can protect what rightfully belongs to you before the marriage.

You can protect your business. For business owners who enter into a marriage, creating a prenuptial agreement is always a must. With a prenup, you can protect your business and ensure that your spouse will not have a stake in your business in the event of divorce.

You can protect yourself from your spouse’s debt. Often, people get married with a substantial amount of debt. Signing a prenuptial agreement can be a beneficial tool to protect yourself from your spouse’s debt.

Creating a prenup usually requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney who can help you with drafting the document and making sure that your agreement is valid and enforceable.

What Are the Drawbacks of a Prenuptial Agreement?

Despite the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement, there are also some drawbacks to creating one. Some of the most prominent disadvantages of getting a prenup are:

A prenup can ruin the romance. The idea of creating a prenuptial agreement makes people think of a potential breakup and divorce. In addition, getting a prenup can be damaging for the romance because spouses are required to discuss the formalities of property distribution.

A prenup can create a sense of distrust. When one spouse wants to discuss how their assets and finances will be split in the event of a divorce, the other spouse may get a feeling that their significant other thinks that their relationship is doomed. This may create a sense of distrust between the spouses.

Legal Guidance You Can Trust

Determining whether a prenuptial agreement is right for your specific situation can be overwhelming and discouraging. For this reason, it may be a good idea to seek legal guidance and discuss your options with a family law attorney. William E. Morgan is prepared to review your particular situation and guide you through making this tough decision. Get a case review with him to understand the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement in your case. William E. Morgan, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout Grays Harbor County and Pacific County, Washington.