Prenups: They’re Just for Rich People, Aren’t They? No Way

Antenuptial agreements, or prenuptial agreements have gone mainstream. And with good reason.

So many more people these days are marrying later, often much later, sometimes after already raising a family, or successfully pursuing a career or business. They aren’t a couple of penniless kids … but they may each have some of those to consider.

It should also be kept in mind that prenups may come into play not only in the event of a divorce but also in the event of a spouse’s death.

And, believe it or not, a will may not be completely effective at disinheriting a spouse. But a prenup can be.

So, even ordinary people who aren’t wealthy may want to consider a prenup under any of the following circumstances (among others; this really isn’t an exhaustive list):

1. Either intended has built up – or even just started – a business. Even if a divorce or death doesn’t come into play, lack of documentation to protect the business could adversely impact financing and growth of the business.

2. Either intended is going to put their career on hold. Whether to care for common children, either intended’s children with previous partners, parents or in-laws. It’s a sacrifice that could have lasting consequences to the spouse who makes it.

3. Either intended has children with a former partner. It is naive to trust that the other intended (or their children) will take care of all the children of either intended. Without proper documentation, this can prove to be too much temptation – and stress – for the person(s) who may end up in the hotseat faced with the prospect of saying no to (other) needy kids and stepkids.

4. Either intended is in line for a significant inheritance. If there isn’t a prenup, inheritances have to be handled just so in order to protect them. Ironically, a prenup can be liberating, and promote sharing and contribution – with security to the heir.

5. The intendeds are compatible in most ways, but not in how they deal with money. A prenup can save a more conservative intended a world of anxiety.

Read more in this Cheat Sheet article: Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement .