On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Prenuptial Agreements on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

For couples looking forward to entering a marriage, prenuptial agreements present numerous advantages. However, there may be some other issues that should be considered when these agreements are being negotiated.

Prenuptial agreements, like insurance, requires contemplation of the worst. In other words, couples must consider the impact of divorce even before they are married. Moreover, these agreements usually have more benefits for the wealthier spouse who have more assets to protect.

However, consideration of these agreements requires a candid and serious discussion of a couple’s assets and any debt that was acquired. This helps with an honest assessment of the couple’s financial situation, their priorities and how they can pay for their necessities and other comforts.

A prenup discussion can form the basis for other important documents such as a will or trust and for obtaining life insurance. A prenup discussion can also include planning for a premature death or medical needs.

A prenuptial agreement can prevent some of the property disputes that divorce proceedings. It can lower the time spent in court and prevent some of the emotional turmoil accompanying these confrontations.

However, a prenup may not account for the couple’s future situation at the time of divorce when their economic situation may have changed. State law may also govern the division of certain property such as inheritances.

Form or boilerplate agreements which may not reflect the couple’s economic situation or their wishes. These types of prenups may not be effective when needed.

Discussions can also be emotionally difficult for young couples who are approaching their marriage with optimism. It is often difficult to know what to ask for in these agreements. This is particularly hard for the spouse who earns or has much less.

Each spouse should have their own attorney to advise them on these documents. A signed prenuptial agreement may always be renegotiated when both parties agree to make changes and legal procedures are followed.

An experienced family law attorney can assist with the drafting of this document. This may assure that the prenup is fair and reasonable, accounts for the couple’s needs and protects rights.

Source: Ney York Magazine, “Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?,” Charlotte Cowles, Dec. 22, 2016