Pre- and postnuptial agreements are good for marriage

While they certainly aren’t romantic, pre- and postnuptial agreements are very important tools for a healthy marriage. Will all marriages with agreements thrive? No, they won’t. Will all marriages without agreements fail? No, but these kinds of agreements can certainly help couples better discuss money, their relationships and, in the case of divorce, how to divide property.

For clarification, prenuptial or premarital agreements are signed before marriage and postnuptial agreements are signed after marriage.

Although many people in Westport and Greenwich consider prenuptial agreements a tool of the rich, many people can benefit from them, especially stay-at-home parents. There are an increasing number of families in which both parents work, but there are still a significant number of people who give up careers to care for their children. An agreement can memorialize this sacrifice and record the value of the sacrifice.

This is important because it reminds the working parent of just how much the other parent has given up, hopefully preventing him or her from taking advantage of the stay-at-home parent. If, however, the relationship falls apart, a family court judge can see in dollars and cents what the father or mother gave up to care for the children. And, since most people see the most important job growth during the time they would likely be staying home, that lost income may be significant.

There are a number of people who stay at home once their children are born. For many of them, staying at home with their children is more important than the extra income they could earn by working. Recording this decision and that extra income in a pre- or postnuptial agreement is an excellent way to promote fairness, regardless of if the marriage is successful.