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The Benefits of Prenup Contracts in Divorce Mediation

Updated on July 30, 2011

If you are in the process of saving for and planning a wedding, chances are that the LAST thing you want to think about it a potential divorce.  No- that's out of the question!  And yet... one simple legal action can save you an unspeakable amount of time, hassle, and money down the line if you just take a little bit of time right now.

I am talking, of course, about prenup contracts.  Drawing up and signing up this simple marital agreement can make a huge difference down the line, financially, and can also reduce what may end up being a painful, unnecessary battle over assets.  Below I will outline the most compelling reasons why you should seriously consider signing a prenup form before saying "I do."

Josephine - fainting upon being told by Napoleon that he wants a divorce.  You might be less likely to swoon if you have a prenup all squared away!
Josephine - fainting upon being told by Napoleon that he wants a divorce. You might be less likely to swoon if you have a prenup all squared away! | Source

Reduced Emotional Turmoil

If you think that writing up details on how your assets and wealth will be divided will be a drag when you are in love, just imagine how fraught the process could be when you and your once-beloved significant other don't want to even be around each other!

I say it's best to get this out of the way now, while the both of you are thinking normally and don't have to contend with intense feelings.  You're more likely to come up with a division of assets that is well thought through.

Saved Time & Money

The divorce mediation process can be incredibly long and drawn out - but with a prenuptial agreement, you will have a road map that can expedite the entire process, meaning that you can move on with your life, financially, emotionally, and legally, much faster.

The fact that prenuptial agreements save time in the divorce mediation process also means that prenuptial agreements can save you money. Legal proceedings cost money, and lots of it. Would you rather do a bit of cheerful consulting with attorneys side-by-side with your bride or groom-to-be right now, or be engaged in a long, expensive, and extended negotiation process with divorce lawyers later on? If you find the latter to be preferable.... well, have fun with that.

Protection from Debt that Isn't Yours

Some prenuptial agreements include statements on what to do with premarital debt belonging to one or both parties.  If you do not want to be stuck with your spouse's debt after you divorce, making a not of it in your prenuptial contract will save you potential financial hazards down the line.

It would be dreadful to both lose your marriage AND your money!
It would be dreadful to both lose your marriage AND your money! | Source

Protection of Personal Financial Accounts

If you have been contributing money toward a savings account that is separate from the joint account you and your spouse establish, protecting that account in a prenup will reduce chances that your spouse would try to draw from it should things go sour and a divorce come about.  

Obviously you do not anticipate anything going wrong in your marriage, but in the off chance that they do, would you not want to take some simple steps to ensure that you do not lose your savings?

Protection of Personal Property

Signing a prenuptial agreement can also help to ensure your continued ownership of cherished and valuable personal possessions (and property, homes, apartments, etc.) should a marriage go south. In some countries, prenuptial agreements can even protect non-shared property from being pulled into bankruptcy and debt settlements.

In California, prenup contracts even allow couples to waive their rights to share personal property, which means that you can maintain sole ownership of some items that you just don't want to share. Though marriage is all about sharing, some things are better left under the care of the person to whom they matter most - it can save a lot of arguments and resentment down the line - not to mention money! 

Protection of a Personal Inheritance

Though you would be more than happy to share whatever inheritance you might be getting with your future spouse, would you not want (and possibly need) all of it should you someday find yourself single again?

A prenuptial agreement can protect your inheritance, giving you a bit of a safety net in the event that you find yourself unexpectedly abandoned or financially marooned.  Considering that you're not exactly planning for a divorce, this can make a big difference!

Have a happy wedding - just be prepared for everything!
Have a happy wedding - just be prepared for everything! | Source

Just Consider It!

I would be so much happier working with a divorce lawyer if I knew that I would be going into the unpleasant process of separating with a prenup contact setting some ground rules.  The protection of your property and finances, conservation of time, and reduced turmoil that prenuptial contracts can offer is well worth small a pre-nuptial invonvenience.

I hope I have convinced you that this contract is worth considering.  And I also wish you all the best in your marriage and hope that whatever prenup you may have drawn up is never necessary!

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