Princess Pauper has found her Prince Charming. In a whirlwind courtship, she’s been “upgraded” from a caretaker of furry critters in the forest to next in line to rule the Kingdom. She’s ready to become Mrs. Charming, but there’s one catch: Charming wants her to sign a prenuptial agreement. He’s spent years building this kingdom, and that Kingdom is one arrow away from falling into inexperienced hands.
She’s completely aghast at the misconstrued concept that he would leave her penniless. On the same note, Princess Pauper has been spinning thread into gold and has a side business growing steadily with her business partner Sir White Knight. She could be making millions in a matter of months, and if Charming doesn’t watch himself – she may just run off with that White Knight over there!
Of course, there are no prenuptial agreements in fairy tales, because they all live happily ever after. However, in the real world, we have to protect our assets. Prenuptial Agreements, Post nuptial Agreements, Partnership Agreements, and the like are a very good safety net to have before you tie the knot. Here are reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement:
1. You own a business. (or a Kingdom) : If you are a business owner, there is a good chance that you’ve done the research and earned your reputation in that business. Do you want to leave it to chance that your spouse gets a portion of your business? You could be answering to that person for years to come whether or not they have a clue as to how to run that business. They could run your business into the ground just to spite you years after your divorce.
2. You are getting remarried: If you have children from a previous marriage, and you wish to protect those children from the downfall of a divorce or even a sudden death, it is very important to sign a prenuptial agreement dictating your assets go to your children before they go to your spouse. Imagine if Cinderella’s dad had a prenuptial agreement and/or estate plan!
3. Marriage: Sometimes people fear marriage. They’re terrified that the other person will eventually take all their money and leave them. Having a prenuptial agreement provides the safety net to boost the idea of marriage. Instead of fearing it, take it head on! Secure your financial future by planning ahead.
4. One of you is supporting the other through college, specialized training, or the start of a new business: If one person in the couple is doing the heavy lifting now, it only makes sense that that person sees the fruits of their labor. Your significant other should understand that if you’re making this investment now, you deserve to see the benefits of your help later! (There are plenty of times we hear that our clients have paid for their significant other to build their business, and once it takes off, the person leaves the other in debt… Don’t let that happen!!!)
5. One of you is much wealthier than the other: (Do I really have to explain this?)
6. One of you has substantial debt, that is continuing to be accrued: (Again, do I?)
7. There is a significant age difference between the two of you: This is especially important if there is no estate planning in place, and one of you is very close to “kicking the bucket.” Insensitive? Maybe, but even Kanye agree’s that when there’s a potential gold digger involved, holler “We want prenup! We want Prenup!”
8. One of you is giving up a very good career to be a “stay at home” mother or father: Listen, staying at home with your children should be rewarded, especially if you went from having a great money producing independent career to depending on your spouse’s income. You don’t want to spend years at home while others are building experience in your field, only to end up without a safeguard years down the road. You may never end up without this problem, but don’t chance it!
9. He/She has a wandering eye or is constantly propositioned by others: Maybe your spouse is a politician or a movie star, or just really really ridiculously good looking. (Yes, that was a Zoolander reference), but if you have a contract that says your spouse has to pay out a large amount if they stray, the deterrent will probably outweigh the temptation. Jessica Biel threw one of these clauses into her prenup with Justin stating that if he cheated, he’d owe her half a million!
10. You’ve had a divorce that was messy: This is pretty obvious too. Very similar to multiple reasons above, this one just provides a good contingency plan that helps get you back in the game and alleviates any fears you may be having of jumping back into marriage.