News that Bill and Melinda Gates were calling it quits after 27 years together came as a shock to some people. They have had a very fruitful marriage that included a lot of charity work and three children. They issued a statement that they would continue their work with their foundation but that they weren’t able to grow any further as a couple.
Once the news of the divorce broke, it came to light that the couple had no prenuptial agreement. They will split their assets and debts based on a separation agreement. While this seems to have worked for them, it’s an opportunity for anyone who’s considering marriage to think about creating a prenup before the wedding.
Why should you sign a prenup?
A prenup outlines who is going to get what if there is a divorce. It can cover debts and assets, so that each party knows exactly what they will walk away with and what they will be responsible for if the marriage ends.
How can you ask for a premarital agreement?
Some people think that asking for this agreement will be awkward. The truth is that it protects both parties, so that may be a good way to start the discussion. Each person has to list their assets and debts, so each of you know exactly what’s going on before you get married.
Prenups can’t overly favor one party over the other. They also can’t contain things like child custody terms. Working with an attorney is beneficial if you need a prenuptial agreement so you can ensure that it is written up and handled in a legally binding manner.