If you are considering getting married, the thought of a prenuptial agreement may have crossed your mind. Are prenups only for celebrities and wealthy business owners, you might wonder? As it turns out, a prenuptial agreement can protect your interests even if you are not wealthy and famous.

Suppose you are getting remarried and you have children from a previous marriage, do you want them or your new spouse to receive your estate after your death? A prenup can establish your wishes and protect your assets and your children’s legacy in the event of your untimely demise. This type of legal contract can offer practical protection for all types of people who face everyday problems.

What protections does a prenup offer?

A prenuptial agreement offers several types of protections. Alongside protecting your own assets, a prenup can prevent you from taking on the debts of your new spouse. You can clarify how you wish your estate passed on after your death, and you can put into writing the financial rights and responsibilities for each party during the marriage. This marital pre-planning step can go a long way toward avoiding lengthy and costly dispute in the event of a divorce.

What could happen if I don’t get a prenup?

Some people want to avoid a prenuptial agreement because of an outdated belief that a prenup portends a divorce. If you don’t get a prenup, you could risk your child’s inheritance and your standard of living in the event of a divorce. You may have to assume responsibility for a debt that you did not incur or lose property. During a divorce, New Jersey state law will take over and determine property distributions without a prenup.

How do I get a prenuptial agreement?

You can draft your own prenup yourself before you marry your partner, but remember that courts will scrutinize the agreement to ensure that it is fair and that each party willingly entered the contract. A judge could decide that the agreement was unfair and dismiss the terms of the document. Many people will have their own attorney review the document to make sure that it is in line with state law.

What if I have more questions?

If you wish to learn more about what makes a good prenuptial agreement versus one that a judge may reject, you could choose to consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area. Starting a conversation about prenups with your partner may not always be easy, but the practical reasons for doing so can potentially pay off in the end.