Prenuptial protection not just for celebrities

By Tony Statz, Ruth to the Rescue producer, @RuthToTheRescue
Published On: Oct 15 2013 12:46:42 AM EDT
Updated On: Oct 15 2013 07:09:23 AM EDT

You've heard the saying "Love is blind," but more and more couples are taking the blinders off when it comes to prenuptial agreements.

DETROIT -

A local financial consultant tells Ruth to the Rescue the number of prenuptial agreements has jumped 73 percent in the last five years. Tom Hakim of Hakim Financial, Inc. says if you don't at least consider a prenup agreement when you get married, you could be making a big mistake.

Still, Ruth to the Rescue found many people who don't like to think such an agreement is necessary before saying 'I do.'

"I just think if you're in love with somebody and you're getting married, that's it," said Bob Carlson of Dearborn. "You shouldn't have to have a paper like that."

Kenia Player of Belleville said, "I feel like if you're together, everything is: what's mine is his and what's his is mine, you know."

Hakim has seen that reluctance in his practice.

"When prenups are brought up, most people will either moan, groan, they blush a little bit," he said.

Reasons To Sign On The Dotted Line

Hakim says prenups make a lot of sense in today's world for several reasons: 

  • More people are getting married later-in-life
  • Same-sex couples need extra legal protection in states like Michigan where they cannot get legally married
  • More people have racked up substantial debts since the start of the recession

 "So, it's not about how much money you have, it’s the person, or who you connect with, and what may have been in the past that you want to kind of keep separated," said Hakim.

In addition to protecting yourself from your partner's debts, there are other reasons prenups aren't just for celebrities and millionaires.

If any of the following apply to you,  you might need a prenuptial agreement: 

  • Do you have stocks? Retirement funds?
  • Do you own a business?
  • Do you own a home?
  • Do you expect to receive an inheritance?
  • Do you have children from a previous marriage?
  • Do you have elderly parents that you need to care for?

 It's never easy to start the prenup conversation, but Hakim says it could be well worth it.

"Does it create a little bit of discomfort? Not nearly as much as a divorce without one in a complicated circumstance," he remarked.

Final Notes

If you decide to have a prenup, make sure it’s in writing, and use an attorney to make sure it’s something that will hold up in court. Hakim says the average cost of a prenup is around $2,000, but that could be a bargain compared to an expensive divorce without one.

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