There are many misconceptions about prenuptial agreements being a sign that you do not ‘trust’ your spouse and don’t expect the marriage to last. Here is the harsh reality though: not all marriages last – that’s just a fact. It’s unfortunate, but it is true. There’s no need to think about a prenup as something negative but think of it as something positive. You have house insurance and car insurance, a prenup is just divorce insurance. It’s something that many couples do before getting married to protect themselves financially and emotionally in the case that they do get divorced. As a health professional, however, there are a few extra things you should think about adding to that prenup agreement.
1. Your assets and debts
A prenup is a great way for you and your spouse to protect your assets – specifically if you run a business or your own medical practice. If you run your own practice, you can list it as an asset in your prenup and therefore eliminate the risk of losing it in the case that you do get divorced. Additionally, as someone who owns their own medical practice, there is a rather good chance that you are making more money than your spouse in your relationship. If this is the case, you can also outline what is rightfully yours financially and limit the payable spousal support after a divorce.
In the case that either of you also has debt, a prenup can protect you and your spouse from being left responsible for the others debt after the marriage ends. So, be sure to ask your family lawyer a few questions specifically geared to debt if that might possibly be a concern you could see come up should your relationship breakdown.
2. Your children
If you have children, you cannot determine the parenting issues in the prenuptial agreement. The law will always do whatever is in the best interests of the children at the time. You can only deal with property and spousal support issues in the prenuptial agreement.
3. Protecting Assets
Many clients have specific assets that they do not want shared in a divorce. You can specify those assets and determine what happens to them in the prenup. If you and your spouse agree to it, you can have an uneven division of your assets.
4. How to Make it Stick
If you want your prenup to be respected by a judge upon divorce, you need to be fair in the agreement. A one-sided agreement will not likely be held up in court. You should also insist that your spouse gets ILA – that is Independent Legal Advice. You don’t want your spouse to be claiming that they did not understand what they were signing when they executed the prenup so insist that they have their own lawyer. Lastly, you need to formally disclose all of your assets and income to your spouse so that they are clear what they are giving up in the prenup, if anything. Disclosure is very important in ensuring that your agreement is respected and legally binding.
As a doctor, you’ve worked hard for the title you’ve earned. You’ve put the time, money, sweat, tears, and dedication into becoming the person you are today, to so many. Although a prenup may not be the most romantic thing to think about leading up to your upcoming marital ceremony, it’s necessary to protect your income, your assets, and your practice. If you would like to make sure both you and your spouse are well protected in the event that you get divorced? We can help you create a prenuptial agreement at Galbraith Family Law. Let us ensure that everything you own that you would like to keep safe is 100% protected. Give us a call today at (705) 999-4438 to set up a meeting and we’ll talk you through the process, and make sure you’ve included everything possible to keep that healthy financial heartbeat pumping ever after.