Sensible people routinely have life insurance, disability insurance, car insurance and homeowners insurance,
but few think about getting marriage dissolution insurance or living together and breaking up insurance. Many individuals planning to buy a cooperative or condominium apartment with a significant other request that both names appear on the deed or proprietary lease, but this is not enough. A legal contract that spells out who owns what is also a must. While it may sound unromantic, a pre-marriage or pre-living together contract can actually strengthen the relationship. And if things don't work out, the contract can save both parties a lot of pain in the end.
Prenuptial agreements, also known as pre-marriage contracts or antenuptial agreements, are no longer only the province of the rich and famous. As social mores have changed, a growing number of couples are willing to acknowledge that their marital vows may reflect a passing phase rather than a lifelong commitment. The chances are also good that at least one partner brings into the marriage a legacy of prior entanglements.
It's also wise to safeguard your interests before asking a boyfriend or girlfriend to move in. If the two of you split, you could lose more than a loveryou could also lose your shirt! Courts don't recognize live-in arrangements unless a written, legal agreement has been made ahead of time. You can't shield your heart in the event of a break-up, but you can protect your pocketbook if your attorney gets it all down in writing.
Moreover, while few husbands, wives or lovers are downright rich, the chances are great that at least one will enter the relationship with some significant financial resources. Just as the wealthy septuagenarian of lore had the foresight to have his beautiful, young fiancee sign a few papers, so should you exercise a little foresight these days before getting married or buying property. Let's not forget that lovers make the best bargains. The time to agree to disagree is when there is love in your hearts and a smile on your lips.