A pre-nuptial agreement is one of those things that many people, especially young, idealistic couples, don’t want to think about, and hope to never have to deal with. Pre-nuptial agreements are now a part of a different social and gender landscape, where divorce is now far more commonplace than it was in any century previous. Divorce is no longer a sign of weak character, moral failing, or only the province of criminal acts or other breaches of law.

Because of that, a pre-nuptial agreement is far more necessary now than it ever has been. The pre-nuptial agreement is essentially a legally binding contract that lays out the division of assets and finances between a couple should a divorce occur. In the past, this was normally meant to protect a male spouse from divorce proceedings in which a female spouse might attempt to co-opt property, money and other assets that the male spouse owned even before the marriage took place. In the 21st century, “Pre-nups” protect both partners in a marriage, and prevent many messy, potentially traumatic legal disputes from dragging on in a divorce court case.

This is why, even if people don’t want to “spoil the mood” of an impending union, formulating a pre-nuptial agreement should be undertaken with the utmost seriousness.

It’s The Precedent

A pre-nuptial agreement can be a rock solid legal and financial contract that, in the event of a divorce, can be extremely difficult to overturn. Because both partners agreed to and signed the pre-nuptial agreement, there’s not much another partner can do if there’s a change of mind over which assets should go to who.

However, much of this legal invulnerability hinges on financial honesty. Provided that both parties approach the pre-nup in good faith, with full disclosure of available assets at the time of the agreement, the pre-nup remains valid should it be brought up during a divorce case.

If, on the other hand, one of the spouses was actually willfully deceptive about disclosing assets, (hypothetically speaking, one partner may not have revealed sizable property investments in another country) then this brings the validity of the original pre-nup into question, and whether one spouse ever intended to honor the pre-nup to begin with.

This is why when it’s time to put together a pre-nuptial agreement, whether you draft one together, or are presented with one by your partner, you should always get a legal expert such as a Family Law Attorney to scrutinize the agreement, and ensure that everything is in order. This will protect everyone’s interest, and ensure that in the event of a divorce, things go more smoothly.