As you and your fiancé plan your Ohio wedding, try not to become so caught up in dresses, tuxedos, flowers, gifts and all the other warm fuzzies inherent in a wedding that you forget the realities and practicalities of a marriage. The sad truth is that the U.S. divorce rate has hovered at around 50 percent for the past 30 years, meaning that you and your beloved stand a one in two chance that you will not live happily ever after together.
Entering into a prenuptial agreement before you marry could save both of you a great deal of heartache and acrimony sometime down the road if indeed your marriage ends in divorce. Unlike the stereotypical view that only wealthy couples have prenups, signing a prenup may benefit couples of all economic backgrounds to strategically plan for their future. Your prenup establishes the basic financial "rules" of your marriage so each of you remains financially secure no matter what happens.
What your prenup can cover
Your prenup can include any and all financially related agreements you wish, including the following:
- The property that each of you now owns and which will remain separate property during your marriage
- How, if applicable, each of you will provide for your child(ren) by a former relationship
- How you will handle your respective credit cards and the debts they represent
- How you will handle your respective retirement accounts, 401(k)s, etc.
- How you will manage any joint business you start or already own
- How you will divide your marital property in the event of a divorce
What your prenup cannot cover
Keep in mind that prenuptial agreements are financial, not personal, in nature. Therefore your prenup cannot include things such as the following:
- Which of you will be responsible for which household chores
- How you will raise your children
- Where you will go on vacations
- How and where you will celebrate the holidays
Having a prenuptial agreement in place gives both you and your soon-to-be spouse the peace of mind of knowing that you are financially protected whatever the future may bring.