There are a handful of stories we’ve come across lately about people having concerns over a fiancee’s request to have a prenuptial agreement. Essentially, a prenuptial agreement determines how property will be handled during and after the marriage, in the event of divorce or death. Notice the “OR DEATH.” This is probably the most important part of a prenuptial agreement. After all, many of us will be married forever, but none will escape death. Bottom line, do not get too offended if your significant other wants you to consider signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
There are cases where we do not recommend our clients to commit themselves to a prenuptial agreement, or at least to minimize the scope of the agreement to cover “DEATH” and NOT “DIVORCE.” For example, younger individuals, who have no children and are just starting a career probably do not need a prenuptial agreement. In fact, such an agreement may result in inequity down the road. However, for those tying the knot later on in life, after having had a career and/or children may want the protection a prenuptial agreement offers both their property and their children.
Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement ENCOURAGES communication and disclosure between the two individuals BEFORE they get married. Financial disagreements are one of the leading causes of divorce. A prenuptial agreement with two informed individuals minimizes that risk. A prenuptial agreement should craft EQUALITY in the marriage, not inequality. In most circumstances, the law is not going to uphold a prenuptial agreement that highly favors one party at the expense of the more vulnerable party. That is why each individual needs to be represented by his or her OWN attorney during this process.
If your attorney does the job right, you will find yourself very happy to know that you and your spouse are on the same page. You will have full disclosure of the financial standing of your spouse. You will be able to solve any problems before they arise. For the most part, we highly recommend prenuptial agreements. ALWAYS have an attorney look at the agreement for two reasons. First, without representation, it may be more difficult to enforce the agreement (someone may argue that they did not understand the agreement when it was signed). Second, these agreements will carry over far into your future. If you find a good attorney to help, you can be confident that your property is protected.
*This article is for informational use only and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice. Transmission or receipt of any information from this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and you should not act or rely upon any information appearing on this website without seeking the advice of an attorney.