We live in an age of much more conscious relationships when we hope for the best, but more and more we realize lifelong learning is more than a cliché; therefore, it is very hard to know if we have matured enough for a functioning long term partnership. That is why an airtight pre-nuptial agreement is so important for both partners. That way both, or either partner (of course, counseling and soul searching is the right preliminary course to this decision), can end a marriage, and both take out what they took in. The rest to be divided fairly.
Lawyers can define the specifics in more depth for you, according to your state. If either partner is over thirty and past the hearts and flowers of puppy love, but has a problem with such an arrangement, then call it what it is: paid for sex or companionship, instead of a marriage?
I still know a few guys over 50, naïve enough to enter in a marriage without such a document. I assure those guys they can try to buy love all they want, but it will never be for sale. Lawyers tell me that according to your state, even if you’ve been divorced for a while, and you inherit, your spouse can still get a chunk of that money, without something to prevent that from happening. Since I am not a lawyer, all I can tell you is it is much harder to protect money after you are married than to set it up before.
Even in live-in relationships of some duration, one party can sue the other for palimony (like alimony, but you only lived together). Back in the 70’s, that happened to one of my wealthy college roommates.