Prenuptial Agreements: A Trend Towards Financial Independence
For a long time many people considered prenuptial agreements for only those who have a large fortune or potential inheritance. In addition to this, they were generally written to protect the male party to the marriage. Recently, however, the trends have been changing. Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular with younger generations, women, and those who are not considered “rich.”
This comes with a trend towards financial independence, where couples are maintaining separate bank accounts, expenses and debt, even after becoming married. Instead of viewing prenuptial agreements as one-sided affairs, they are now becoming more mutual agreements that level the playing field and allow both spouses to secure their futures, regardless of wealth.
Who Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
Anyone who is getting married should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement, even if both spouses have similar income and financials. This is because prenuptial agreements encompass more than just finances. They can include behaviors as contingency as well as division of property or wealth.
Women should also take the initiative to have a prenuptial agreement drawn up before marriage because they are often the spouse who gets the “short end of the stick” so to speak. This is partially because men have been the more traditional breadwinners but also because of stereotypes about women’s motives when entering a marriage. By having the initiative to draw up a prenuptial agreement on her own terms, a woman can help ensure that her future is secure.
What Is in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Every state has different laws governing what can or cannot be contractually agreed to in a prenuptial agreement. That being said, there are some general topics and agreements that can be made across the board. For example, a prenuptial agreement may:
- Protect one spouse from another’s debt
- Keep property within the possession of a family
- Allocate resources to provide for children
- Protect estates
- Outline distribution of wealth upon divorce
- Discuss responsibilities or marriage
- Manage retirement funds
There are many other things that can be included in a prenuptial agreement, but there are also several things that cannot be included. For example, a prenuptial agreement cannot involve anything illegal, it cannot discuss child custody matters and it cannot encourage a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement should be written by a qualified attorney to ensure that it is legally enforceable. If you live in Los Angeles, the attorneys at Whitmarsh Family Law are happy to arrange a consultation at (310) 552-3505.