It should be noted that my decision to have a prenuptial agreement drafted before I got married was made before I even met my fiance. My saving habits, instilled very early on, very quickly set me apart from my peers. It would never be a situation where both husband and wife start their lives out together with nothing; I already had accumulated much and so the notion of being on equal footing financially was unfortunately not in the cards for me.
That aside, my parents divorced when I was in high school. During the process, I saw sides of my parents that I never knew existed. Hurt feelings of one party very quickly translated to trying to financially ruin the other party, with spite being the primary motivator. It was long, it was drawn out, it was messy, it was exceedingly expensive for both, and in many regards it permanently strained the relationship between my father and I. Having a prenuptial agreement in place will profoundly expedite things should the unfortunate occur.
Now, reasons aside for wanting a prenuptial agreement, my fiance's personal situation certainly reinforced the original decision.
- My net worth is well over $500K while her's is -$10,000
Aside from a small mortgage, I have no debt, while she has $18K in debt
I make 2.5 times what she makes
I don't carry credit card debt; she struggles not to max out her cards
As for the specifics of my personal agreement, I don't mind sharing. Simply put:
- The assets each of us bring into the marriage revert to the original owners.
Any augmentation of those assets during the marriage also revert to the asset's original owners.
Any equity in our primary residence will be split equally
Any rental/investment properties revert to whomever is listed on the deed of said properties
For every five years of marriage, there will be one year of spousal support
So that's my situation. Lastly, I just want to say that the real problem is not the concept of a prenuptial agreement; it's the perception of one. As many have pointed out, detractors argue that suggesting one means one believes that any marriage is doomed from the start. In reality, the agreement doesn't increase or decrease the probability of divorce, it's just a contingency plan if divorce should occur.