11 Questions to Answer Before You Agree to a Prenup

While you probably aren’t considering the implications of divorce in the exciting leadup to your “I dos,” planning ahead can be helpful. This is one reason many couples consider prenups. Ensuring you’re both on the same page regarding finances and taking steps to protect yourself in the future, even if you are fairly certain divorce won’t be a factor, can provide some peace of mind.

However, before you sign a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to ensure you both have considered all the facts. Ask yourself and each other the following questions to help ensure your prenup is comprehensive and cooperative.

1. Have All Assets Been Disclosed?

Both individuals will need to disclose all of their assets to make the prenup process fair and give you a chance to be cooperative in this effort. Disclosing assets doesn’t necessarily mean they become up-for-grabs in a divorce, and you can use trusts and other legal methods to protect certain assets. However, trying to hide assets is no way to start a healthy marriage and could put those assets at risk later.

2. Have All Income Sources Been Disclosed?

The same is true for income. Consider being open and honest about your income so you can create a prenup that makes sense for both of you. You might also discuss the realistic implications of your current career choices, whether you want to have children, and whether someone might stay home with the kids, as these choices all impact future incomes. Ensuring you’re on the same page and understanding what the financial future might look like for you as a couple can help you create a better prenup.

3. Have All Debts Been Disclosed?

Don’t forget about pre-existing debt that you’ll carry into the marriage. This can include any existing credit card or student loan debt as well as home or vehicle loans. Being honest about your debt as early in your journey toward marriage as possible can help you learn to work together regarding finances.

4. What Is the Plan for Allocating Existing Debt?

Consider making a plan for allocating existing debt. Will each person use their own income to pay off these debts, or will you combine finances and work on a plan together? These choices can change how you approach your prenup.

5. Are There Potentials for Future Inheritances or Windfalls?

Take a few moments to consider whether either person can expect this type of payout in the future. You may want to talk to family members or others about inheritances and how best to protect them for future generations. Your loved ones may have plans, such as trusts, to protect assets. If not, you may want to consider how to include them in a prenup.

6. What Are the Expectations for Property and Debt Division Should Divorce Occur?

No one wants to enter a marriage by discussing how to dissolve it. However, if you’re going to sign a prenup, it’s a good idea to have a solid plan in place for this potential outcome. Ensure that the prenup you sign is something you can live with if it does come into play later.

7. What Are the Expectations for Spousal Support Should Divorce Occur?

You might also want to consider including specifications about spousal support and alimony in a prenup agreement. Considering these factors doesn’t mean you’re rooting against your marriage or even assuming that it will fail. But if you do have a prenup, it should be comprehensive.

8. Are There Any Business Interests That Should Be Considered?

Don’t forget to include business interests such as company or shareholder ownings. These may need to be protected or divided in a divorce, so they also belong in a prenup.

9. Are There Any Children to Consider?

If there are pre-existing children from previous relationships, consider how they should be included in the prenup. While Indiana child support guidelines don’t necessarily apply in such a situation, you may want to ensure that children are provided for in the event that a marriage doesn’t last. That’s especially true if the mother or father of the children in question is agreeing to forgo a career or certain career aspirations so that the other individual in the couple can support them during marriage.

10. How Do State Laws Impact Your Agreement?

It’s always important to ensure your agreement will hold up under state laws. If you draft a willy-nilly prenup that doesn’t take Indiana state laws into account, you may find later that you can’t stand on it because the court won’t uphold the agreement. This can leave you floundering if you do end up facing divorce.

11. Do You Have an Experienced Family Law Attorney to Assist You?

Depending on your situation, consider having one or two family law attorneys help you in drafting a prenup agreement. In some situations, the couple might work together on the agreement with the help of a single family law attorney. In other cases, you may each want your own independent lawyer to ensure your individual interests are protected.

If you’d like to work with a family law attorney on your prenup, call the Deidra Haynes Law Office today at 317-785-1832.