When you are planning to get married, what happens if the marriage ends in divorce is probably not on your mind. Nobody gets married while at the same time planning to get divorced. While the oft-cited “fifty percent of marriages end in divorce” can be questioned, the reality is none of us can predict the future.
The fact is it is possible your marriage will end in divorce. How do we treat other parts of our lives to account for the unforeseeable? We insure our homes and cars. We routinely enter into contracts addressing everything from building a house to leasing a car to having a cell phone so the terms of an agreement are spelled out. However, when undertaking one of the biggest decisions a person can make, many do not account for the unexpected.
Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
You may think that your retirement plan and salaried job do not merit the hassle. I would disagree. First, you cannot specifically predict what assets you may have in the future. Second, even if your marital estate is not substantial, having enforceable terms agreed-upon can help make the divorce process less taxing.
As a general recommendation, I believe most couples can benefit from a prenuptial agreement. Given my primary line of work, I’ve seen up close the toll, both emotional and financial, a divorce can have on a person. While a prenuptial agreement does not guarantee that your divorce will be painless, having an enforceable contract in place can preemptively resolve potential areas of dispute.
When Should I Obtain a Prenuptial Agreement?
Generally speaking, the earlier the issue is discussed, the better. Do not wait until one week before the wedding to discuss a prenuptial agreement. That may not go over too well and you each will need time to retain counsel and draft the agreement. Ideally you will begin the process of obtaining a prenuptial agreement at least one month before the wedding to allow sufficient time for it to be completed.
Our next post will cover the process of obtaining a prenuptial agreement. For additional information concerning prenuptial agreements or any family law matters, please go to our discussion of prenuptial agreements and feel free to call us at (317) 353-3600 or click here to contact us via email if you have any questions.