In lew of the biggest divorce settlement order in history, it might be. Harold Hamm an fracking oil tycoon was just ordered to pay his soon to be ex wife $995 billion dollars.
Here are some of the reasons for:
• each persons assets and property are protected separately,
• avoiding court involvment in deciding estate distribution,
• defining the clear differnce between marital and community property,
• if special arrangements were made, they are documented,
• avoiding conflicts and court expenses even if the separation is amicable,
• defining rules and agreements that may change in the future
• avoiding acquiring any debt or liens and liabilities that could arise
Here are some reasons against:
• It may not be good for your relationship. Money can often be a soft spot for marriages. If you feel comfortable you have made the right decision you wouldnt want to dull the relationship before it has the chance to thrive.
• The timing may not be right. The first days and months of a marriage are usually blissful. If you feel you don’t have a solid idea of what your personal future holds based on career decisions or future inheritances or such, it may not work for your relationship right now and you can wait to form what is called a “postnup”. Consult with a qualified attorney however. These are still legally enforceable.
• In certain states there are already rules and laws already in place in regards to assests and property
A prenup cannot include child support or child custody issues. The court has the final say in calculating child support. The court determines child support based on a “best interest of the child” standard, with several factors at play. A court would never uphold a provision of a prenuptial agreement that dealt with child support.
A court can set aside any provisions it finds to be unfair or not in the interest of justice. For example, courts have set aside provisions that do not allow a spouse any share of the other’s bank account, if the account holder contributed greatly to that bank account during the marriage. The most commonly set aside provisions are alimony agreements and alimony waivers.
A prenup cannot include personal preferences, such as who has what chores, where to spend the holidays, or what school the children should attend. Prenuptial agreements are designed to address financially based issues. Judges grow uncomfortable when they see private domestic matters included in a contract, and will often view the document as frivolous, striking it down.
Analyzing your specific situation
Now that you have reviewed the pros and cons, think about your specific situation to decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
Take The Prenuptial Agreement Questionnaire
Do you own real estate?
Aside from real estate, do you have more than $50,000 in assets?
Do you earn more than $100,000 a year in earned income?
Do you own any part of a business?
Do you have more than one year’s worth of retirement benefits?
Do you have employment benefits such as stock options or profit sharing?
Do you or your partner plan to go to school for an advanced degree, while the other works?
Does a part of your estate name beneficiaries or heirs other than your partner?
If you or your partner answered yes to one or more of these questions a prenuptial agreement is in your best interest. If you answered no to all of them, a prenup is probably not needed, but could still be used to protect your current or future assets.
Brainstorm Important Property Issues
Once you have decided that a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you need to decide what to include in your prenup. Your partner and you should each separately brainstorm and write down all of the property issues you want to include in your prenuptial agreement. Here is a list of some common prenup topics to help you:
Estate planning issues, for example, conveying family property or providing for children from previous marriages (not child support)
Distinguishing separate and joint property
Holding yourself not responsible for your partner’s debts
Distribution in the event of divorce, including alimony
Income, deductions, and claims for filing your tax returns
Management of household bills
Management of joint bank accounts, if any
Arrangement regarding investing in certain purchases or projects, like a house or business
Management of credit card spending and payments
Arranging putting one or the other through school
Property distribution to the survivor, including life insurance, in the event of death
Settlement of potential disagreements, such as using mediation or arbitration
Evaluate your comfort level
Once you have thought about whether you need a prenuptial agreement and what issues should be covered in your prenup, evaluate how comfortable you are with the idea of having a prenup. Familiarizing yourself with the laws of your state might also be helpful, especially if you question how a prenup affects your rights verses your given legal rights without a prenup.
Many people fear discussing the idea of a prenuptial agreement with their partner might upset or offend their partner. The fact is that the issues covered in a prenup will have to be discussed with or without a prenup. Perhaps practicing discussing difficult topics can start with the topic of a prenuptial agreement. Be upfront and honest with your partner. Tell him or her that it is a difficult topic, but that these issues do have to be discussed and decided on and can be done so in a respectful manner. Some people even use a third party professional, like a counselor, to help them sort through these issues in a loving way. On the flip side, if you don’t want a prenup, but your partner does, use this opportunity to practice discussing difficult topics that are important to the relationship in a loving and nonthreatening manner. Whether you decide on a prenup or not, it will be a great communication tool and will teach each of you what the other needs and wants.
After considering all of this, evaluate your comfort level on a scale of one to ten. If you rated your comfort level at a six or above, you are ready to discuss the details of your prenup with your partner. Even with that much confidence, remember that your partner may not be as comfortable as you are. Be sympathetic to that. Also, remember that you two will disagree on some things, but that this is okay. Talk it out. Give yourselves plenty of time and be willing to seek help if you need it.
If you rated your comfort level at a four or five, you may still want to talk to your partner to see where he or she stands. Doing this may help you decide more or less on whether a prenuptial agreement is the right thing for you and your relationship. – See more at: http://family.findlaw.com/marriage/how-to-determine-if-a-prenuptial-agreement-is-right-for-you.html#sthash.G7U9d72s.dpuf