If your partner has asked for a prenup, know that it is not the end of the relationship. Think of a prenup as a roadmap that helps navigate the financial aspects of your shared life. It’s about protecting your personal interests while building a life together. This isn’t about planning for failure; it’s about acknowledging reality and taking charge of your future. Take this opportunity to create a well-rounded prenuptial agreement that will protect you if the marriage breaks down.
Here are 10 things a woman should ask for in a prenup:
1. Pre-Marital Assets Protection
Any pre-marital assets you own, including real estate, heirlooms, precious jewellery, or savings, should remain solely yours in the event of a divorce. This extends to intellectual property as well.
2. Debt Protection
Mostly, both parties are responsible for their own debt that they bring into the marriage. That should be included in the prenup. You may also add a clause that if your spouse acquires debt or spends a large amount of money, your wealth is protected. You are also not required to pay their debt off.
3. Spousal Support
While discussing spousal support might seem premature, it’s an important aspect of a prenup. You can outline the conditions under which alimony is payable, its duration, and its amount. It makes divorce simpler afterwards.
4. Division of Property Acquired During Marriage
Any property acquired during marriage is usually split equally between both spouses. However, if you wish to purchase a property with your money or pay most of the purchase price, you can demand for a split according to your contributions.
5. Business Ownership
If you own a business, you must protect it as part of the prenup. If a marriage breaks down, your spouse can claim 50% of the business as they contributed to support you and your business.
6. Inheritance Rights
A prenup can outline what happens to your estate in the event of death, particularly if there are children from previous relationships. Your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and not just divided as marital property.
7. Financial Responsibilities During Marriage
You may want to include financial responsibilities including who pays for what, how joint accounts are managed, and how savings and investments are handled, especially if you’ve decided to stay home to look after kids.
8. Sunset Clause
Some couples opt for a sunset clause, where the prenup expires after a certain period or under specific conditions, like the birth of a child. It makes it less serious and balances protection with the evolving nature of relationships. However, do not feel pressured to act in your agreement.
9. Child Support and Custody
While a prenup cannot legally dictate child custody or support issues, discussing these topics can be beneficial. It sets a tone of mutual understanding and cooperation for future decisions. However, know that most of the time courts make the child support and custody clause invalid as they make decisions that are best for the children.
10. Legal Representation
A prenuptial agreement must be fair and legally sound. If perceived as one-sided or unfair, it can be challenged in court and deemed invalid.
A prenup is not just a legal document; it’s a communication tool that helps set the financial expectations and boundaries in a marriage. For women, especially, it offers a chance to assert financial independence and security. Both parties must have their own legal representation.
Our family lawyers at Sterling Law in Brampton have helped many women draft fair and reasonable prenups. Please reach out to us for a free consultation. (up to 30 minutes only)