Prenup Agreement: The Pros and Cons
Prenups aren’t just for pop star divas and action movie heroes.
Prenups aren’t just for pop star divas and action movie heroes. It’s for any couple that wants to protect their individual assets and wants a plan in place if the marriage dissolves. Is this a super cheery topic? Nope. But as you have learned from dissecting your venue contract, not all of wedding planning is fun. We want to review with you the pros and cons if you are considering this process.
The worst case scenario is settled.
Your AAA membership, life insurance policy, and carbon monoxide detector all have one thing in common: they exist for the sole purpose of being there for when things go wrong. And of course, the worse time to consider a AAA membership is when you are on the side of the road with a flat tire. A prenup makes sure that at during your marital crisis, the most crucial steps have been taken care of. ‘A prenup lays out exactly what to expect in the event of a divorce, negotiated at a happy time in your lives versus a time when one or both of you are hurt or angry,’ reassures Jennifer Kouzi, NYC divorce attorney.
Your personal financial assets are protected.
Whether you have a healthy trust fund, or have built your cupcake bakery (soon-to-be cupcake empire) from scratch, you have assets that you want to ensure stay with you in the event of divorce. ‘Property brought into a marriage very often becomes co-mingled, and is not always clear what is separate and what is communal property,’ states CEO of LegalAdvice.com, David Reischer.
It involves a meaningful conversation that can help the two of you determine your priorities.
Developing a prenuptial agreement involves decisions about finances and lifestyle. They can reveal a lot about where your partner wants to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. ‘Prenups really reflect the inner workings of our minds, which is critical to having an intimate, emotional relationship,’ says Pegi Burdick, author of ‘It’s Never About the Money…Even When It Is.’ Use the information you receive from your partner during these negotiations to communicate about your goals together, ensuring a stronger marriage.
It’s really awkward timing.
You are planning your wedding and taking premarital counseling. Everything in your life right now revolves around starting your new life together. Even if both parties are fully on board for this agreement, it can be a strange and disconcerting experience. ‘Preparing a prenup asks the couple to think about divorce at the very moment they are making a lifetime commitment to each other,’ points out Rackham Karrlson, family law mediator. But even though it is a hard conversation, don’t delay it.
It could be completely unnecessary.
Before you even bring up this often painful and fraught conversation, make sure that your state law doesn’t make it completely unnecessary. ‘If you live in a community property state, it may not be worth the aggravation and cost of negotiating a prenuptial agreement…Investigate in advance how favorable your state’s jurisdiction is toward adjudicating prenuptial agreements,’ Reischer cautions.
If this is something only one of you wants, it could be a deal breaker.
The guy you’re marrying has a lot of family money and he wants you to sign a prenup. Does that mean that he thinks you are a golddigger? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean the request doesn’t make you feel that way. Make sure you not only take care of legal matters, but also emotional ones. Hire your own lawyer (do not sign anything without legal representation), and if necessary, seek counseling together to make sure you address any issues that have arisen.
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