Holidays are always a popular time of year to get engaged. There is so much excitement that goes along with getting engaged and planning the wedding that sometimes people forget the real focus-the marriage.
Sure, planning a big party and looking for the perfect dress are important to a lot of people. But getting married is not about one day. It’s about building your life together. Often, people only want to plan the fun things (parties, honeymoon, etc.), and they forget to also plan for the important things (being fiscally responsible, having an estate plan, etc.). Drafting a pre-nuptial agreement falls into the latter category. It is a fiscally responsible decision, and it helps you with other long-term planning items such as saving for retirement, buying investment properties, incorporating trusts into your estate plan, and the like.
Many people think that they do not need a pre-nuptial agreement if they are not already wealthy. That cannot be further from the truth. Yes, a pre-nuptial agreement does generally protect assets you own prior to your wedding. However, in Connecticut, those assets are often protected anyway, especially with a short-term marriage. It is often more important to have a pre-nuptial agreement to protect your future assets or earnings.
Pre-nuptial agreements are especially important for business owners. When people are married, they often invest joint funds into a business. This could be a great concept if the parties stay married. However, if for any reason the marriage is unsuccessful, one party’s business is now considered a marital asset and if that party is forced to buy out his or her spouse, that could very well mean financial ruin for the business.
Anyone who also stands to inherit a family business, or other assets, may also want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Inheritances received by one party during a marriage are usually considered to be a joint asset which would again need to be divided.
There is still a negative connotation to pre-nuptial agreements, but there is really nothing negative about them. It is always a positive thing to think about your future and plan responsibly for it. Additionally, a valid pre-nup is never going to be one-sided. It will ultimately protect both spouses if the time should ever come for them to part ways.
If you did get engaged during the holiday season, Congratulations! Enjoy every second of your engagement. Just try to take some time to get your ducks in a row and feel confident going forward.
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