Creating a valid prenuptial agreement before marriage is an effective way to shield certain property and assets from division in the event of a divorce.
If you are considering having a prenup in place, then it can be wise to examine the items you own and determine what you may want to include in your agreement. Below are some common types of property that people protect with a prenup.
Types of property to include in a prenup
If you or your partner owns the following types of property, it would likely be prudent to address them in your prenup:
- Family heirlooms and property
- Business interests
- Real estate, including rental property
- Intellectual property
- Inheritances (received or anticipated)
- Pets (which are property in the eyes of the law)
- Retirement benefits
- Digital property
When these and other properties (and liabilities) are substantial, addressing ownership and what will happen to them in the event of a divorce in a prenuptial agreement can be critical.
Why they warrant protection
Addressing these properties in an enforceable prenup can it make it easier to divide (or not divide) the property in question in a divorce.
It can also give other parties peace of mind. For instance, you may have family members or business partners who would also be dramatically affected if you divorced and had to divide property in which they also have an interest.
If you take steps to define and protect ownership before the marriage, you can avoid the potential for messy legal and personal disputes that could erupt and threaten familial or shared assets in the event of a divorce.
Property division can be one of the most complex and contentious elements of a divorce. Taking the time to discuss these matters before you even marry can allow you to avoid or at least minimize the potential for legal disputes in the future.