Although couples do not enter a marriage with divorce in mind, a prenuptial agreement (prenups) can protect both parties and avoid a long, costly divorce process.


Traditionally, wealth was the driving factor behind premarital agreements; today they are commonly thought of as a financial plan that sets forth expectations in a marriage.

Prenups typically include assets, debts, inheritance or family money, alimony, investments, and any businesses or real estate property owned by either partner. Sometimes child custody or parent custody is involved when entering marriages with children from previous relationships, or in situations in which one is caring for elderly parents. Individuals entering into a second marriage can protect their retirement savings and keep intended beneficiaries in case of death or divorce. Young entrepreneurs are able to avoid business or investment liquidation by forecasting a set monetary value and payment guideline.

Every state has family laws that determine how a couple’s property is handled in divorce cases. A prenuptial agreement is the foundation with clear guidelines regarding property division and eliminates drawn out and dreadful fighting in court.

Prenuptial Agreements Solve Pet Custody Issues

Prenups have benefits beyond financial, especially when families or pets are involved. Most pet owners have emotional connections with their pets and consider them family members. During a bitter divorce, many couples will fight for custody of their pets rather than surrender them. It is common practice today for couples to include the pet custody in a premarital agreement.

It is important to add a clause regarding pets in a prenup because pets are commonly treated as personal property and that means they are subject to equitable distribution. Most states do not have laws that establish who gets to keep the family pet, and judges may take into account what is best for all parties involved.

The current trend for marrying couples including the pet in prenuptial agreements, called “pre-pups,” is to avoid future litigation over pet custody. The pre-pup defines the couple’s expectations in the event of a divorce and is an extremely smart move when childless couples treat pets as their children. Usually full custody and visitation rights are established, as well as responsibility of care (daily walks, feeding) and costs (veterinarian visits, grooming, food.)