When people think about whether they need a prenuptial agreement or not, they often think about whether they have real estate, businesses or other sizable assets to protect. However, there are other reasons why a prenup can be a good idea.

Below are four such reasons. 

  1. Your partner has or will have student loans – Student loans are one of the most common reasons people struggle financially. It can take a lot of time and effort to pay them off, which is why, as this MarketWatch article notes, some people agree that they will pay it off together when they are married. If you plan to do this, you could have a prenup detailing whether the non-borrower spouse will receive reimbursement for his or her contribution in the event of a divorce.
  2. You own intellectual property – Patents, copyrights and trademarks are all intangible assets that can present complications in a divorce. In some cases, the property may not hold value until many years after acquisition. In other cases, an individual puts in all the work to receive intellectual property before the marriage but does not actually secure a trademark, copyright or patent until after marriage. As such, addressing intellectual property ownership in a prenup can be wise.
  3. You are storing reproductive material – If either person has frozen eggs or sperm, or if you plan to freeze embryos during a marriage, then having a prenuptial agreement can be quite helpful in avoiding a contentious dispute over ownership in the event of a divorce. Often, deciding whether one person can keep the material or it must be destroyed is very difficult. Deciding what to do in advance can make it much easier to resolve this issue upon divorce.
  4. The laws could change – Next year, the tax treatment of spousal support will change; recently, California changed their approach to pet custody in divorces. In other words, laws can and do change over time. In cases where the current legal landscape would work to your advantage in a hypothetical divorce, ensuring it still applies in the future with a prenuptial agreement can be wise.

Before making any decisions about a prenup, it can be wise to discuss your assets, wishes and plans with an attorney to ensure you have suitable protection in place before you get married.