A marital agreement is a legal contract couples can sign to set some parameters on their relationship. The intent of a marital agreement is to establish each spouse’s financial obligations and what would happen should there eventually be a divorce.
Marital agreements are versatile and can ease the divorce process. However, many people don’t make them. Here’s why:
People are afraid a prenup is a bad omen for the marriage
It’s often believed that prenups foretell a divorce. In theory, if someone wants to get a prenup, then they may believe the marriage is not going to last.
However, when couples discuss their intention of a prenup, it can help establish what each spouse wants from a marriage – and what they both expect if the marriage doesn’t work out. If a prenup doesn’t align with each spouse’s views, then it can lead to long discussions that ultimately strengthen the relationship.
They figure that it’s too late to create an agreement after the marriage
It is true that prenups can’t be made after a marriage begins – but that doesn’t mean couples can’t create a postmarital agreement, instead. Postnups function the same as prenups, and they are often created when one spouse launches a business, a couple has children and one spouse needs to give up their career and at other points where the relationship is in flux.
Creating a postnup can benefit people even more than a prenup. It can help them ease each other’s fears about the changing dynamics of their relationship and provoke frank, considered discussions about the future.
The stigma around prenups and postnups is often unjustified. Couples who learn more about prenups and postnups often feel better about their choices and have less fear of a messy divorce.