Key considerations for prenuptial agreements

In a prior post, we highlighted how prenuptial agreements could be an important topic of discussion between couples who pledge to get married. As a matter of fact, prenups are becoming more common as apathy about the longevity of a marriage becomes prominent. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), sixty-three percent of attorneys surveyed indicated that they saw an increase in requests for prenups. Of those surveyed, 80 percent said that prospective couples wanted to protect their separate property.

Regardless of the reasons behind a prenup, having such a discussion (and eventually entering into one) is a serious undertaking. With that said, it is important to examine the reasons behind it so that proper expectations can be set.  Here are a few things to consider before asking for a prenuptial agreement.

Know the other person’s temperament – Prenup discussions are not easy; essentially because of the underlying sentiment (I love you but don’t trust you) behind it. As such, it would be wise to know (or at least learn) how the other person will react to such a discussion before proposing it.

Be aware of the assets you’re trying to protect – As mentioned earlier, prenups are generally used to protect separate property, so if you and your soon-to-be spouse are not entering the marriage with many assets, chances are that you may not need a prenup.

Have a discussion about how to handle problems – Prenups don’t have to be all about money. You may want to agree to undergo counseling before getting a divorce or may pledge to use collaborative divorce in the event you want to split up.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, “What to consider before asking for a prenuptial agreement,” December 4, 2013

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