There’s a saying that in marriage, each spouse should have something of value to bring to the table. However, it is common for one spouse to have more resources or to have become more financially established than the other before marriage. That doesn’t mean the relationship won’t work, only that there may be a financial imbalance between spouses.
If you already have a successful professional practice or have just taken over your family business, getting married will involve some risk for you. Even your pre-existing assets like a company could be vulnerable in a future divorce.
Talking with your fiance about a prenuptial agreement can be a way for you to enter your marriage with confidence.
A prenuptial agreement can classify the business as separate property
In a prenuptial agreement, spouses can outline certain expectations for their marital relationships and create guidelines in the event that they later divorce. Agreeing ahead of time about basic rules for how you will divide custody or your property make drafting a prenuptial agreement a way to all but ensure an uncontested divorce.
Although your business is technically separate property because you owned it before you got married, actions during your marriage might put it at risk of division in a divorce. For example, the courts may consider it commingling if you re-invest your income earned during the marriage into the company. By designating it as your separate property, you will be in a better position to protect your business if you do divorce.
Make sure that your fiance has adequate protections as well
One of the biggest mistakes you might make when negotiating a prenuptial agreement would be to only focus on what protects you. However, your fiance should receive valuable consideration as well. You can’t expect someone to forego their marital property rights without some kind of appropriate compensation.
It’s also important that you have time to consider the agreement and to have your own attorney before signing. Taking the right steps before you get married could help you protect the business that you have built while setting you up for a successful, long-term marriage.