3 Reasons You Might Need A Prenup (Even If You're Not Old And Rich)

They're not just for gold diggers.

When you hear the word “prenup,” it’s easy to picture the circumstances that come to mind: an older, wealthy man, protecting his assets as he marries a much younger woman whom society has most likely dubbed a “gold digger.”

But that isn't always the situation, and it's a bit of an out-of-touch ideology on the subject, too. 

Prenups have typically gotten a bad rep through history, and many people believed that it was something only rich people did. Or that prenups were a means for people to protect their riches when they don’t really think that their relationship will last, and want to make sure their spouse can't get in there and rob them blind by taking half of their assets. 

And while prenups have unfortunately been used in these situations, the truth is that they can serve a helping hand for anyone, regardless of age or economic standing.

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So what exactly is a prenup? And how do you know if you need a prenup in the first place? 

According to Kevin J. Chroman, who is a family law attorney, in the YourTango Experts video above, prenups are great for many circumstances other than just protecting your finances — despite the negative rap that they get. Prenups can guarantee that your property, finances, and yes, even debts, are divvied up properly. Not just in the case of divorce, but also in case of your or your spouse's untimely death.

And prenups are not just for people who think that their marriage isn’t going to last, or for those interested in keeping their money away from potential gold diggers. In many cases, prenups can protect your family and guarantee their financial stability. After all, who wants to leave a messy, debt-filled estate behind them? 

Prenups can be great for people who want to have more control over their finances and believe that they will do a better job splitting assets up than courts or legal guardians can. So, now that you know how helpful they can be, how do you know who should have a prenup before they get married?

Here are three situations that Chroman believes having a prenup could save the soon-to-be-married couple a lot of trouble down the line:

1. One or both of you have children from other marriages.

If you have kids from a prior marriage, then you may want to get a prenuptial agreement in order to protect the children and make sure that they are financially stable. In case of a divorce, where your finances and properties might get split 50/50, which could mean that you’re forced to sell your shared house and split the costs, a prenup will guarantee that only the agreed-upon amounts and properties will be doled out.

2. You don’t want to get caught up in legal battles.

Court cases can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, especially if during something messy and painful like divorce. Prenups will protect your circumstances and keep you from being dragged through the legal system over your assets.

This can also include protecting people who came into the marriage with separate properties so that it’s easy to determine what’s “ours” versus what’s “yours.”

This can even include debt, surprisingly enough, which means that your spouse, in the event of your death, will not inherit any debts that you might have had before the marriage.

For many people, it’s important to determine that debt belongs to only one person before the marriage begins so that it doesn’t fall on the rest of the family to take care of it in case of one spouse’s death.

1. Because a prenup is like car insurance.

If it makes it easier to picture why people would need a prenup, then envision your car insurance fees. Every year, you pay money—sometimes thousands of dollars—in the hopes of never having to use your car insurance. But in case of an emergency, you know that the car insurance will be there for you, so if you do need to use it, there are no surprises for what you’ll get.

Premarital agreements are somewhat like that. You can sign a prenup and hope that your marriage doesn’t end in divorce.

But, if it comes to that unfortunate situation, you know exactly what you’re getting out of it.

For more information, watch the video above. This is confusing stuff, but it seems like it's better to be safe than sorry. 

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Kevin J. Chroman, Esq, is a family law attorney who practices in the greater Los Angeles area. If you have any questions regarding this or other legal questions, contact him at his website.