Parents with means often encourage their children to obtain a prenuptial agreement to protect future gifts from the family or interests in family businesses from being shared in the event of divorce. Couples entering a second marriage often elect to execute a prenuptial agreement to allow each spouse to make provision for the children of a prior marriage, and to reassure all concerned that the marriage is motivated by something other than money.
Every couple—with or without substantial current assets—should consider having a prenuptial agreement. Young people, particularly, often spend more time planning their weddings than their marriages, and mature couples often are quite set in their financial ways. You cannot live happily ever after if you don’t understand each other’s attitudes toward money; negotiating a prenuptial agreement with the guidance of experienced lawyers can help you gain insight into yourself and your future spouse.
The purpose of an agreement is not to gain a financial advantage in the event of divorce, but to provide certainty, so that in the unfortunate event the marriage does not work out, a couple can part ways promptly and amicably, without costly and intrusive discovery and without the acrimony that can arise in adversarial proceedings—especially important if there are children. If you need to cooperate after your divorce in caring for your children, making decisions for them, celebrating their successes, and coping with their crises, it is best that the divorce itself not exacerbate an already difficult relationship.