The importance of the prenup in the age of same-sex marriage
It’s been almost a year since the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage. However, the reality of legalized marriage within the LGBT community means that we should also think hard about prenuptial agreements, or the prenup.
After all, any marriage– like any relationship, whether straight or LGBT– can fail.
The need for prenup in case of failed LGBT marriages
We’ve heard of stories of LGBT marriages that didn’t work, of a couple who were together for years prior to their marriage but only to end up in divorce after they got married.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise because we’re also human. Before the Supreme Court ruling, LGBT relationships could just break up and dissolve personally within the confines of the two partners.
But the legalization of sames-sex marriage means that LGBT unions now also bear the legal issues inherent when a couple has a divorce.
With divorce comes the separation of assets, whether the partners own them jointly or separately. Sometimes, legal courts are obligated to intervene on how the separation is done.
This is the dark side of divorce: the division of properties as well as debts, and the alimony.
The latter, of course, depends on the number of years of the marriage and which partner earns more. (Although the laws state that for marriages that lasted less than 10 years, no alimony is required.)
Reasons for a prenup for LGBT couples
Because we’ve seen how messy divorces can be with our straight marriages predecessors, prenuptial agreements have always been encouraged for the following reasons.
One is that it’s so you can agree on some things before you get married. Though for some it feels like in bad taste, the reality is that it’s a practicality one has to accept.
Another reason it’s important for LGBT couples to have a prenup is that not all states recognize same-sex marriages.
Divorce can be ugly, but it can get even uglier when the two reside in a state that is not accepting of same-sex marriage. Likewise, what if one partner moves to another state, one that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage?
Given that some divorces take years to get sorted out, imagine a divorce where the court deciding on the division of assets and providing alimony doesn’t even recognize your right to be married?
To avoid legal entanglements with your marriage, a prenup will ensure the laws of the state doesn’t have to intervene.