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How and Why to Get A Prenup

Couples set up prenuptial agreements before marriage in order to address what will happen with their finances and assets if they divorce. If they do not enter a formal prenuptial agreement, the divorce laws of the state take over. By seeking an attorney who can help them set up a prenup, they can avoid relying on the government to make those decisions.

How to Get a Prenup

You should have a conversation about a prenup as soon as possible after you start talking about marriage. Broaching the subject may not seem particularly romantic, but part of developing the skills to have a long lasting, functioning relationship involves communicating about important concerns in a way that’s respectful but also clear. Be empathetic and listen. If your fiancé (or fiancé’s parents) have objections or concerns about the prenup process, take the time to listen to them.

In terms of practical preparation, your first order of business will be to catalogue assets, debts and other considerations. Identify all relevant financial documents and accounts, and address contingencies that you want the agreement to cover or that you think might need to be covered, including how long the prenup will last. Each partner should retain his or her own legal counsel, who will help draft and legalize the documents.

Why to Get a Prenup

While many couples can benefit from a prenup, they especially help in the following situations:

  • You bring more money or assets to the marriage. For instance, your grandparents left you with a substantial inheritance, or you’ve set aside significant savings or acquired real property.
  • You earn substantially more than your soon to be spouse.
  • You were previously married, especially if you have children from your former spouse. You might pay child support or alimony or have significant assets. A premarital agreement ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
  • Your partner brings a high amount of debt to the union. You do not want to be saddled with these debts if you divorce, and a premarital agreement can prevent exactly this scenario.
  • You own part or all of a business. If you do not have a premarital agreement, the courts could award your former spouse part of your business in a divorce.
  • Your business partners or clients might balk at this arrangement.
  • You want to keep your estate plan in place.
  • You have substantially less money than your new spouse.
  • You plan to stop working to care for your children. A prenup will even out the finances between both parties, so that you do not bear all the financial burden of quitting your job.

If you need help exploring your options to establish a prenup and make sure you and your beloved are prepared for the exciting journey ahead, our experienced family lawyers can help. Please call us for a free consultation.

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