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Why marrying couples would be wise to have a prenuptial agreement

Couples who plan to marry often spend a lot of time, money and energy focusing on planning a wedding. Few, however, give much thought to those issues that may cause conflict after the excitement of a ceremony and honeymoon have faded.

There's a saying that money makes the world go round. It also, however, is a major source of conflict for many married couples. One way couples who intend to marry can avoid future fights over money is to discuss financial matters prior to marriage and clearly define how such matters should be dealt with in the future.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that can help couples who plan to marry sort out financial matters. While previously viewed as a tool only necessary for the rich and famous, as a growing number of Americans delay marriage or remarry at an older age, many realize they want to protect those assets they bring to a marriage.

Even couples who don't opt to establish a formal prenuptial agreement essentially have one. States like New York have laws related to how the financial assets of married couples are divided upon divorce. By choosing to establish a prenuptial agreement, a couple has more say and control over their assets and financial future.

This may be especially important in certain situations. For example, if one spouse has a considerable amount of debt, a prenuptial agreement protects the other spouse from a legal obligation to fulfill and pay off that debt. Additionally, if one spouse owns a home or business, a prenuptial agreement can be useful in defining terms of ownership and involvement.

Source: SavingAdvice.com, "10 Reasons to Get a Prenup," Danielle Warchol, Sep. 6, 2013

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