Posted February 8, 2018
Prenuptial agreements—commonly known as a prenup—often make the headlines when a celebrity takes it into a direction most of us wouldn’t even think of. Take for instance, the prenup for Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson. He wanted a clause that would force Simpson to pay him $500,000 for every pound she gained over 135 pounds. That clause just might be the reason why the couple never married.
For those not in the know, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement made before the marriage that often spells out how property will be divided in the event the marriage fails.
Reasons for a prenup
Prenups aren’t just for the celebrities, the wealthy and the unromantic people in the world. There are a number of people with common circumstances that could benefit from putting a prenup in place:
- Second marriages: Often times a prenup can help protect the new spouse’s assets from paying the debts that came from their spouse’s first marriage. Another scenario is if you have children from a previous marriage, as well as significant assets, you don’t want to risk those assets being diverted. Nothing is worse than your children losing their inheritance to daddy’s new ex-wife.
- Aspiring business owner: Deciding ahead of time what to do with a business in the event of a divorce can save substantial legal fees further down the road.
- Inheritance: A prenup can protect inheritances from division after a divorce. A prenup can also protect family heirlooms. Now you don’t have to worry about losing Grandpa’s antique desk in the divorce.
- Debt protection: A prenup can also help limit liability from a future spouse’s debts and prevent being left this debt during the marriage and divorce.
Let your imagination run free
The agreement can go beyond property division and finances, as just about anything is fair game—however, you can’t limit child support, child custody and visitation. In Colorado, all language regarding children will be treated as void. The Chicago Sun-Times found some of these unusual clauses in prenuptial agreements:
- The right to perform random drug tests, with financial penalties if the results are positive.
- Should the spouse be unfaithful, the other can claim all the frequent-flyer miles.
- An infidelity penalty of $100,000 for each time the spouse is unfaithful.
- The husband is limited to watching just one football game each Sunday during football season.
An experienced family law attorney can help you draft or review a prenup. Their experience can help you understand the legal terms and consequences of the prenuptial agreement. So, if you have it all and would like to keep as much of it as possible should the marriage dissolve, consider a prenup.