In 2020, 45.1% of U.S. marriages ended in divorce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is not a statistic couples want to consider on their wedding day, but if they wind up in divorce court, they may wish they had signed a prenup first. This is why financial experts recommend every couple should get a prenup—or prenuptial agreement. We’re here to tell you what a prenup does, and how much it should cost.
What is a prenup?
A prenup is a legally binding contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup lists all the assets—and debts—belonging to each person and specifies who gets what assets—and debts—should a split occur.
How much does it cost to get a prenuptial agreement?
The cost of a prenup will range from $1,000 to $10,000. The reason for this disparity in price is due to:
- The city and state the couple resides in.
- The number of assets and debts each person has.
The more each person owns and owes, the more complex the prenup will be, which will increase its cost.
What are the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement?
Think of a prenup as financial protection for your marriage. It protects prospective spouses’ assets, children, and families by predetermining what happens with:
- Premarital assets and debts: A prenup can list each person’s assets and debts before getting married. This can help determine how these will be treated after getting married. For instance: if one spouse has accrued a large student loan debt getting a medical degree, and the income derived from that degree supports both spouses, should that debt be shared, as well?
- Marital assets and debts: Assets and debts gained during the marriage are generally shared by both spouses. However, a prenup can keep specific assets or debts accumulated during the marriage separate. For instance: if a spouse starts a business solely funded by their own capital obtained prior to the marriage, the profits could be theirs alone.
- Post marital assets and debts: A prenup also dictates how assets and debts will be divided in the event of divorce, avoiding further contention in the settlement, as well as preventing the state from determining distribution of assets.
- Children: If a spouse has children from a previous relationship, a prenup can dictate how those children will be financially taken care of, and who will get what in a future inheritance.
- Family: If a spouse has a family business, property, or other assets, these can stay in their family if this is spelled out in the prenup.
- Responsibilities: Important marital expectations can be predetermined, such as:
° Who will be responsible for specific expenses.
° How tax returns will be filed.
° How bank accounts and investments will be dealt with.
° Creation of agreements on large purchases and sales.
Conclusion: Why you should consider getting a prenuptial agreement
Divorce court is not where you want to settle the distribution of assets and debts. By that time, the relationship has ended, and all that’s left is often a protracted, anger-fueled battle over who gets what, which can cost considerably more than a prenup. In addition, you will be saving yourself emotional stress and the possibility that the state will intercede and distribute your assets for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth getting a prenup?
Yes. And though your next question may be how much is a prenup?—You should be asking how much a divorce will cost without one? Divorces are often protracted and thus expensive, with most of the fighting centered around the division of assets and debts.
How much does a prenup cost in the USA?
The average cost ranges from $1,000-$10,000—and if you want to know exactly how much is it to get a prenup?—factor in local filing costs, and how detailed an agreement you and your future spouse want.
Can you write your own prenup?
Yes, but we’d advise against it. A prenup is a complex, legally binding contract that an experienced family lawyer should create for you. If you are wondering: do prenups stand up in court?—the answer is, again, yes, but only if properly drawn.
How much does a divorce cost?
This can vary widely, depending on the circumstance, but typically cost thousands of dollars. Again, this is one of the main reasons to get a prenup. Settle the distribution of assets and debts before you are forced to rack up big legal bills. If you’re wondering what is a prenuptial agreement?—please read the above article.
Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?
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