4 reasons most couples should consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement

Prenups can help couples by addressing complex financial issues, protecting dependents, providing emotional benefits and reducing costs during divorce.

When many couples in Boston are getting ready to tie the knot, one of the last tasks they may want to consider is signing a prenuptial agreement. Although these legal agreements are becoming more widely used, many people may still perceive them as pessimistic or even harmful to a relationship. However, prenuptial agreements can offer many critical benefits, which should be carefully weighed before a couple makes any final decisions about signing one.

1. Reduced financial losses

As Business Insider notes, financial matters such as alimony and marital property division can be some of the most contentious issues to arise during a divorce. Prolonged disputes over these issues can result in increased legal costs, which can harm both spouses financially. A prenuptial agreement can specify exactly how these difficult matters will be handled during a divorce. As a result, these agreements can protect each person's assets and future financial interests.

2. Complex financial issues

Today, many couples face complex financial issues even before they get married, such as personal debt or obligations from prior marriages. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that these preexisting liabilities and financial duties are fairly taken into account during a divorce settlement. This can reduce the risk of an outcome that leaves one or both individuals feeling financially disadvantaged.

3. Protection during remarriage

Drafting a prenuptial agreement may be especially advisable for people who have already been married at least once. As CNBC observes, these agreements can ensure that any sentimental or high-value assets are set aside for a person's children or other dependents. This can prevent disputes in the event of a divorce or even the person's death.

Elderly adults should also strongly consider drafting prenuptial agreements, according to Time magazine. These individuals often have accumulated significant and complex assets, such as retirement benefits, which may be difficult to divide during a divorce. Older adults also may face sudden unexpected costs, such as long-term care, that can significantly reduce their separate or marital assets. This makes signing a prenuptial agreement an important protective measure for these individuals.

4. Potential relationship benefits

Besides providing financial benefits, prenuptial agreements can offer greater peace of mind and promote more open communication. Many couples can benefit from knowing that they agree with one another on important financial issues or have an arrangement in place to address future disputes. Additionally, in some cases, early discussions about these key financial issues may help people avoid relationships in which they are likely to fight frequently due to conflicting financial views.

Forming a working agreement

Prenuptial agreements can offer many advantages, if they are drafted carefully and serve the interests of both people. However, it's crucial for couples considering drafting one of these agreements to remember that prenuptial agreements can be challenged or overturned on various grounds. For example, in Massachusetts, an agreement may be invalid if it was fraudulent, signed under duress, completed too close to the date of marriage or signed without an attorney.

To ensure that a prenuptial agreement is legally enforceable, couples should consider working with an attorney who can provide assistance with drafting the agreement. An attorney can help ensure that the final arrangement is enforceable and that no important financial issues are overlooked.