Tips to Make Sure You Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Signing a Prenuptial Agreement
Dear April Masini,
My fiancé and I are deeply in love and can't wait to get married. However, he is talking about possibly having us draft up a prenuptial agreement. He has a large fortune and was screwed out of a lot of money by his ex-wife; though he trusts me completely, he wants to really make sure he doesn't get burned again. Do you have advice for anything I need to know when agreeing to a prenuptial agreement? I don't want it to hurt my relationship or my marriage!"
Protect Your Money
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Protect Your Money,
Prenuptial agreements are legal documents that virtually insure the participants of the marriage against loss. Or more specifically, the document is an agreement, set out up front, before the marriage occurs, telling what each party will keep and give up in the event of a divorce.
Not exactly the picture of romance -- especially since they are usually agreed upon after the proposal and before the wedding. This is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. Instead, a prenuptial agreement brings the business of divorce into the arena of marriage at the start.
It is a great comfort to many people to have a prenuptial agreement, however, there are so many prenuptial agreements that are contested after a divorce, and enough overturned, that many attorneys won't even draft a "prenup."
In addition, the prenuptial may or may not do what people employing one, think it will do -- namely, protect them. Anyone who goes to court in a divorce situation knows that there are different ways any case or trial can be decided depending on who the judge is, if the judge is changed, and if there is enough pressure and/or fear on one or both sides of an argument to cave or settle before an issue gets before a judge.
Truly, the winners in any prenuptial agreement, overall, are the attorneys. Whether or not their clients win or lose, they walk away richer and emotionally unscathed. Unlike the couple they are representing.
Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid Regarding Prenuptial Agreements:
- Signing one when you don't really want to.
- Not having one when a voice inside tells you you're making a mistake.
- Not understanding what you stand to lose if you have a lot of assets going into a marriage with someone who does not.
- Signing without having an attorney go over it and advise you in advance.
- Signing without having your OWN attorney go over it and advise you in advance.