A little prenup can go a long way

Nearly every attorney may have a client who wants a prenuptial agreement. Surprisingly, clients with little or no valuable assets are eager to make a prenup because their friends say it is the right thing to do.

Prenuptial agreements, while trendy favorites in media circles, are not necessary or even useful for everyone. They are serious legal documents that can deeply affect many aspects of a marriage. A couple should not casually enter into these agreements without understanding the consequences.

What type of attorney can draft a prenuptial agreement?

When an engaged couple would like to acquire a prenuptial agreement, they generally use a family law attorney. Family law encompasses a large area of interpersonal relationship agreements; some attorneys handle as many prenuptial agreements as they do divorces.

When to approach the prenuptial agreement request?

When a starry-eyed couple is newly engaged and romantically contemplating their upcoming marriage, introducing a prenuptial agreement may feel like a sudden plunge into ice water. These agreements do not fit well into the quaint “until death do us part” phrase heard in vintage television marriage scenes.

When people ask their betrothed to sign a prenup, the responses can range from a simple “yes” to a dramatic adult tantrum. If possible, the couple should work together with their attorneys to hammer out the terms. Good lawyers possess excellent communication skills. They help people to understand difficult issues and discuss any concerns. 

How can a couple bulletproof a prenuptial agreement?

It is important for a prenup to be legally sound. If the marriage should fail, the dissolution will be much easier if the prenup is strong and clear-cut. This will avoid unnecessary angst and expense of drawn-out court battles. A good prenuptial agreement can mitigate the emotional strain and financial drain of divorce. The couple should pay attention to some crucial areas to bulletproof the prenup:

  • Each partner should be completely transparent in giving a full, honest account of their assets and debts in the agreement.
  • A couple should obtain a prenup immediately after the engagement so that one partner cannot later claim a coerced signature at the last minute before the wedding.
  • Prospective marriage partners should find attorneys who do not make the prenuptial agreement sound like a declaration of war between aggressive countries. It is better for a couple’s prenup agreement to contain amicable, or at least neutral, language so as not to poison a relationship from the start.

No one should enter into a prenuptial agreement until his or her attorney thoroughly explains the pros and cons of such an agreement; a couple may decide they do not want or need this agreement after all.

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