When you get engaged the last thing you want to think about is divorce. However, it’s an unfortunate reality for many marriages. Despite what the fairytales tell you, love doesn’t always last forever. While preparing for the worst isn’t fun, it is smart.
You and your partner should talk about everyone’s least favourite subject: prenuptial agreements. Don’t let the negative implications scare you. We’re here to help you navigate the tricky topic as you get ready for your big day.
Let’s Talk About: The Ins And Outs Of Prenups
While the concept of a prenup can seem a bit pessimistic, it’s not as nasty as it sounds. It’s simply a contract that a couple signs to determine finances in case of a divorce. It’s important to note that prenups aren’t only for the uber wealthy.
They are used to determine the division of assets and debts, establish spousal support agreements, and so much more. Prenups cannot tackle child support or custody for children that you have together. They are also not 100% legally binding. It is up to a judge to determine this. Now that we’ve defined prenups, let’s get into the nitty gritty details.
Do You Need A Prenup?
While the short answer is rather safe than sorry, it’s never that clear cut. A prenup can set a standard for transparency in your relationship, as you’ll have to lay it all on the table. But, some couples might need a prenup more than others. If you fall into any of the following categories, it’s at least worth a conversation.
One of you is much wealthier
In the case of a divorce, you’re each entitled to 50% of the other’s assets. If you or your partner has holdings they want to protect, you may need a prenup. This can also help weed out a gold digging partner.
One of you has much more debt
A divorce can ruin your credit as you can take on your ex’s liabilities. If one of you has some serious debt, you should consider a prenup.
One or both of you value privacy
A confidentiality clause can ensure peace of mind. Neither party will be able to publicize details of the others lives.
One or both of you have been married before
If you’ve been divorced before, you may be more inclined to request a prenup. You can also protect assets or separate obligations from a previous marriage.
One or both of you have children from a previous relationship
In addition to a will, a prenup can define what is to be left to your children in the case of your death. This can spare everyone from a nasty battle.
Having The Prenup Conversation
If you’re thinking about a prenup, bring it up sooner rather than later. It might be uncomfortable, or downright unpleasant, but it will only get worse as your wedding gets closer. You can talk about getting a prenup even if you’re still dating, just to gauge the tension.
No matter how stable your relationship is, expect the worst. If your partner feels blindsided they may get defensive or question your intentions. So preface it by emphasizing how much you love and trust them. Explain that prenups protect in the event of the inevitable: divorce or death.
Talk about the pros of creating a prenup. You’ll save money and stress if you do get a divorce. Prenups don’t just protect the spouse with more assets, they also protect both parties from taking on each other’s debts.
How To Create A Prenup
Above all else, a prenup should be fair. In order for a prenup to be accepted by a judge, it must be understandable, fair, and in accordance with all legal guidelines. For Singaporeans, this means it must follow the Women’s Charter of Singapore, and for Hong Kong residents, it must include the phrase, “all the circumstance”.
You should have it reviewed by separate lawyers. Having another party look over your prenup will ensure that it is both legally sound and fair. Even if you use a template or create a prenup from scratch, you should get it looked over.
Regardless of how you decide draft it, in order to have a valid prenup you need:
- The presence of a notary during signing
- Both parties to voluntarily execute it
- Full disclosure of financial standings for both parties