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This week the Huffington Post featured an article entitled, “Prenuptial Agreements for Peace of Mind and Post-Coital Bliss.” The article, co-authored by a family lawyer and a financial planner, focused on the potential benefits of entering into a prenuptial agreement with a future spouse.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into before marriage. The agreement can set forth what will happen to you and your spouse’s assets and income in the event of divorce, separation or death. Many couples are hesitant to enter into prenuptial agreements before marriage. However, as the article states, just because the “topic is awkward and sensitive, does not mean it should be avoided.” Failing to plan for the future of your marriage can have a number of negative consequences down the road.
Most think of a prenuptial agreement as being for partners entering matrimony with unequal means. “The retro-model is a high earning man demanding his pretty young bride sign a prenup before they tie the knot.” However, as time passes and society modernizes, prenuptial agreements have become even more useful.
Prenuptial agreements are gaining popularity for a variety of reasons. One reason is that people today are delaying marriage to focus on their careers. By the time they marry, both partners have property and financial assets to protect. Prenuptial agreements make this easy to do. Prenuptial agreements are also common when one partner has children from a former marriage. Such an agreement makes sure a spouse’s separate property goes to their own children. Additionally, prenuptial agreements can be useful when one party may inherit a large sum of money from a parent or relative. This kind of unpredictability provides a great reason for both parties to define the terms of the marriage at the outset.
The article advises that prenuptial agreements should be “de riguer” in modern marriages. In order to facilitate the process, it is best to hire an expert fully versed in the changing public policy issues and the nuances of family law relevant to enforcement decades down the road. Requiring each party to have their own representation is also useful in ensuring that the more powerful party does not take advantage of the weaker one.
“It’s best to think of a prenuptial agreement less as an exit strategy than as a worst-case contingency plan with additional benefits for your relationship.” Planning ahead can make everyone feel safer and more secure in the present while reducing the chances of catastrophic consequences in the future.
Whether you are about to enter a marriage and need a prenuptial agreement, or about to end a marriage and file for divorce, The Law Offices of Jay D. Raxenberg, PC can provide practical, compassionate and effective counsel to address your legal issues. Our firm will skillfully guide you through the legal process from commencement of your action until disposition by means of creative settlement or trial. Please call (516) 491-0565 or toll free at (888) 543-4867.