Schwab MoneyWise ®

Prenups: Do You Need One?

Making an informed decision.

Our Two Cents

Even if you decide you don't need a formal, legal prenuptial agreement, you should talk through how you'll deal with your financial situation in a way that is fair to both of you.

A prenuptial agreement certainly doesn't sound romantic, but in the long run, it might just help keep your romance alive. Usually we think of prenuptial agreements as something only for the rich or famous. But in certain circumstances, having your financial arrangement written out clearly makes sense.

When you might need a prenup

Here are some instances in which even the "average" couple might consider a prenuptial agreement. In every one of these situations, a written agreement would help clarify issues before they have a chance to turn into problems.

  • One of you is coming into the marriage with significantly more money or property than the other.
  • One or both of you have significant assets, such as a home, stock or retirement funds that you want to protect.
  • One or both of you own all or part of a business that you've built up over years.
  • One or both of you are expecting to receive a sizable inheritance.
  • One or both of you have children from a previous marriage.
  • One of you will be supporting the other through college or graduate school.
  • One or both of you have significant debt.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.

The Charles Schwab Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation that is not part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. or its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation.

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). All rights reserved. Member SIPC.