Prenuptial agreements are no longer just for people who come with trust funds or the uber-wealthy. They’ve become an important tool for modern couples — many of whom have their own independent investments and enterprises before they tie the knot.
A good prenup doesn’t aim to prevent a divorce — but it does make one that happens easier to handle. However, a prenup that isn’t handled correctly at the start could be worse than having no agreement at all. That’s because you can end up in a legal dispute over the prenup’s validity on top of having to fight about the disposition of your marital assets.
If you want to make certain that your prenup passes muster in the future, here are the things you need to remember when you’re drafting it:
- Honesty counts. You have to bare your financial soul to your prospective spouse when you sign a prenup. Otherwise, you’re being deceptive. A contract signed under deception isn’t much of a contract.
- Fairness is also important. You may fancy the idea of an iron-clad prenup that leaves the other party with nothing but what they brought into the marriage — but that’s probably not fair if you build a life together. Think ahead to what your life may look like in five, 10 or 20 years and consider a prenup with stages that “age out” over time.
- Timing is critical. You can’t hand your spouse-to-be a prenup the night before the wedding and then claim that you never pressured them into signing. It’s much safer to have the prenup signed and out of the way early.
Finally, legal assistance is also a necessary ingredient in any prenup. This is not something that you want to attempt with a form you downloaded from the internet. If you want a prenup done right, make sure that both parties seek guidance from experienced attorneys.