Society is changing, and along with it so are Minnesota families. It is now much more common for wives — not husbands — to be the primary breadwinner in their families. These women often bring more assets into their marriages, too. So what can women do to protect their personal assets and future financial interests? Prenuptial agreements are among the best options for doing so.

A prenuptial agreement essentially creates a guide through the property division process. It allows both spouses to clearly mark which property is separate, such as real estate, retirement savings and other assets brought into the marriage. The couple can also determine how to divide marital property in the future.

However, a prenup cannot unfairly benefit either party. Just because a woman is bringing more assets into a marriage or earns more than her husband, the agreement cannot leave him with virtually nothing in the event of a divorce. It is unlikely that a Minnesota family law judge would enforce such an agreement, even if both parties agreed to the conditions without undo influence or pressure.

Women currently earn more than their spouses in over 25% of all marriages in America, and more and more of these higher earners are initiating prenuptial agreements. However, creating an enforceable prenup is not always as straightforward as it seems. There are several reasons why a judge might decline to enforce an agreement, so taking the time to learn more about these valuable tools prior to signing may be helpful.