Long before marrying Kim Kardashian, Kanye West famously sang…
If you ain't no punk, holler “We want prenup, we want prenup!”
It's something that you need to have,
cause when she leaves [your marriage],
she’s gonna leave with half.
Of course, we all now know what happened to the Kardashian/West union, and it is safe to assume that the couple signed a comprehensive prenuptial agreement before their wedding. This will most certainly make the division of their reported billion-dollar marital estate much easier. Those of us not bringing billions of dollars into a marriage might ask oneself, “Should I consider having a prenuptial agreement?” then brush it aside as something just for the wealthy or celebrities (or wealthy celebrities). However, the prenuptial agreement is actually a very smart consideration prior to marriage.
Couples from all tax brackets can only benefit from discussing financial issues prior to marriage. And, contrary to popular belief, a prenuptial agreement is not the death knell of romance. In fact, looking at the financial “big picture” for both parties in advance of the wedding often helps couples ease their minds by understanding each other’s fiscal standing and ensuring there are no surprises once they are married.
Prenuptial agreements can be tailored to match each individual’s needs and, in the end, protect both parties, not just the wealthier spouse. And, yes, if the marital union does sadly end up failing, having a prenuptial agreement in place can make for a very clean and painless break…a “smart divorce,” as it were.
If you find yourself in a situation where your fiancé is reluctant to sign a prenuptial agreement, there are still ways to protect most of your assets during the marriage without such an agreement in place. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, property acquired prior to marriage, as well as gifts and inheritances received during the marriage, are not marital property, provided they are kept in a separate name and not commingled with other marital assets. The caveat to this rule is that the increases in value to that premarital property and to the gifts or inheritances will, in fact, become a marital asset.
With COVID restrictions starting to ease, 2021 is already projected as a potential record year for weddings and new marriages. Do not wait until the days before the wedding to raise the issue of a prenuptial agreement – contact a firm experienced in family law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call Williams Family Law at 215-340-2207, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.