Many Minnesota residents believe prenuptial agreements are distasteful or that they are the province of the rich and famous. There are multiple reasons why prenuptial agreements are a good idea for most people, and they can be treated as a blueprint for the expectations for the marriage instead of being viewed as a plan for future divorce.
Between 40 and 50 percent of first marriages will end in divorce, according to some estimates. Prenuptial agreements can provide protections for the spouses and allow their property division to go more smoothly if a divorce happens. While historically, men were the ones who drafted prenuptial agreements for their spouses to sign, they may also be good for women to draft as well. Women now are the primary income earners in about half of all marriages, and they would be wise to protect themselves.
A well-drafted prenuptial agreement can clearly outline the expectations each party has for their future marriage. People may use them to address the division of household duties and responsibilities in addition to their assets. They may also provide for one spouse’s retaining certain assets he or she earned during the marriage without those assets being divided.
Sadly, many marriages will end in divorces. Having a good premarital agreement in place can help prevent significant litigation and conflict while the divorce is being resolved. A person who is already married and does not have a prenuptial agreement may want to think about drafting an antenuptial agreement to accomplish the same purposes. Both types of agreements must not contain any unconscionable or illegal provisions. If they do, courts are likely to disregard them in their entirety and proceed with dividing the assets according to the law. A person who interested in either type of an agreement may want to obtain the advice of a family law attorney.
Kathy Newman has more than 35 years of experience in Pre-Marriage Considerations counseling faced by physicians throughout the Twin Cities area. Kathy and her team understand the applicable laws and legal nuances involved, and welcome the opportunity to support you through the process. Read more from our Pre-Marriage Considerations Blog.