wedding rings on a book

A lot goes into planning a wedding. The happy couple is probably overwhelmed with venues, caterers, flowers, dresses, and more in the months leading up to the big day. One important aspect that they probably are not considering is a prenup. More formally referred to as a prenuptial agreement, a prenup is a contract that a couple agrees upon and signs before their wedding. It details the individual assets of both parties and designates who is entitled to what in the event of a divorce or separation. Planning for a potential failed marriage is not the most romantic thing in the world, but it can be beneficial to both spouses. There are many factors to consider when agreeing to a prenup, including alimony.

If you are considering signing a prenuptial agreement with your partner and want to learn more about your rights, a Sparta prenuptial agreement attorney can help.

What is Alimony?

Alimony is the legally obligated financial support one spouse owes to another. Alimony is also called spousal support and is typically found in the form of monthly payments. A spouse eligible for alimony will usually have a lower income or no income at all. They may have stopped working or cut their hours to part-time to raise children or take care of the home and therefore have the disadvantage of having a lower earning potential in the workforce.

What Does a Prenup Include?

Anything can be included in a prenup. They are individual unique contracts between two partners so the specifics will depend on the circumstances of the couple. In general, the following are addressed when drawing up prenuptial agreements.

  • Premarital assets including cash, bank accounts, cars, property, jewelry, artwork, etc.
  • Premarital debts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Retirement funds
  • Child and/or pet custody

Should I Establish Alimony in My Prenup?

What you decide to include in your prenuptial agreement is entirely up to you and your partner. With that being said, it is better to be safe than sorry. By addressing as many topics as possible in your prenup you are alleviating the risk of future legal battles and disagreements.

If you and your partner have agreed that one of you will quit your job to stay home, that person will be entirely financially dependent on the other spouse. Depending on how long they spend out of the workforce, it can greatly affect their ability to later secure a job with a suitable income. If this is the case it would be wise to include spousal support payments in the prenup.

You may also choose to include alimony payments required to help one spouse maintain the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during marriage. You could also both decide to use the prenup to waive your right to spousal support. Exactly what you include in your prenuptial agreement is dependent on you and your partner’s situation. No one hopes their marriage will fail, but it is imperative to protect yourself financially in case it does.