Prenuptial Agreements (Premarital Agreement)

Who needs to get a prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement)?

Anyone who’s getting married. A prenup isn’t only for individuals or couples with a lot of money. It is a versatile document that not only outlines how pre-marital assets are to be treated but also debts, marital obligations, future division of property, alimony, etc. There is almost no limit to what can be written into a properly drafted prenup.

Is there anything that a prenup can’t include?

Yes. A prenup cannot predetermine how child custody or child support is determined. The standard is always the best interest of the child.

When should I sign a prenup?

Ideally, you should have a prenuptial agreement drawn up and signed at least 6 months before your wedding date. This gives the prenup more validity since at a later time, neither party can claim that they were forced to sign the prenup under duress of not getting married after all the invitations have been sent out.

Do I need an attorney to draft a prenup?

You not only need an attorney, but you and your fiance should each retain separate attorneys. The language of a prenup needs to be very specific and all legal formalities need to be followed. Or else, if you ever need it, it won’t be valid.

Why should I get a prenup? Doesn’t it kill the romance?

You always hope for the best, but plan for the worse. It is no different than planning for life insurance, durable power of attorney, health care proxy or a trust. People do those things because they hope they’ll never need to cash in a life insurance policy, or need to use their power of attorney or health care proxy. These are instruments and documents that you plan that you’ll never have to use.

But if you do need them, they will be invaluable. A prenup is invaluable if you need to use it.

And I don’t believe it needs to kill any romance whatsoever. It should be looked at not as a precursor to a divorce, but as loving each other so much and so dearly that you are willing to care for their future. You are planning out of love instead of fighting out of hate if you are to divorce. Given the choice, I’d choose love any day.

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