In many ways, a prenup is a chance to talk through your divorce and make decisions even before you get married. You know that your rights are going to change when you marry the other person, entering a contract with them, and you want some control over that. The prenup gives you control.
That said, it is not for all areas of your marriage. If you plan on having children, for instance, the prenup is not a chance to decide who they’ll live with or who gets them on Christmas morning or any of the other things that parents worry about. It’s also not a way to incentivize divorce and should not be used as a tool to make a divorce more likely or to profit off of it.
Instead, the prenup is just supposed to “settle financial matters.” It addresses the common financial questions that couples have in advance so that they don’t have to worry about those questions during the divorce.
For instance, maybe your spouse has plans to go to college and get an advanced degree after you get married. You support them, but you know it can take decades to pay off student loans. You’ll help if you’re married, but you don’t want anything to do with that debt after a divorce, so the prenup can ensure that only your spouse has to pay. You can also divide assets in the same manner.
Not all couples use prenups, though they have become more popular over the years. If you want to use one, you do need to know what steps to take and how the process works.