Couples nearing marriage can confront challenging questions around complex issues, such as finances, assets, property, and more. Some soon-to-be-married couples believe discussing a prenuptial agreement may harm their relationship. When considering a prenup, proactive steps, including understanding the purpose, value, and other clarifying issues, can help prevent challenges when creating one.
Even though only about 5 to 10% of Americans get prenuptial agreements due to fears of signaling uncertainty about marriage, they can be essential for those holding significant assets or debts before marriage or in circumstances of having had a prior divorce. At Moffett Law Firm, we have 30 years of experience providing guidance surrounding complex marriage matters. You can trust our professional legal team to take on your case with a personalized approach.
3 Steps to Consider When Creating a Prenup
A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract in which an engaged couple states their rights and responsibilities regarding premarital and marital assets, debts, and the consequences of divorce or death. Discussing a prenuptial agreement forces an engaged couple to communicate financial goals and general attitudes about money and assets.
Before creating a prenup, consider the following steps:
1. Understand the Purpose
Prenups are designed for two primary purposes: property protection and support in instances of death or divorce. Both parties must have an explicit understanding of why a prenup may be necessary, which may include the following purposes:
- Protecting assets
- Protecting company stock ownership
- A mission, purpose, or vision that aligns with your values and how you want your assets allocated
- The level of wealth of both parties is significantly different
- Outlining your spouse’s financial situation in the event of your death
- Clarifying spousal support or support payments
Communication is key to a prenuptial agreement. Taking care of each other emotionally throughout the process and establishing financial comfort in your future marriage is essential.
2. Consider Perspective
Instead of looking through a lens of a potential divorce, it may be helpful to change your perspective by discussing what may happen in the event of a death. A prenup should provide comfort about your future to protect both parties legally.
When discussing the terms of a prenup, consider the following perspective:
- Both parties have an equal say
- Both parties must have representation and complete disclosure
- Both parties should be fair and willing to compromise
- You may choose to use a professional mediator
- You may choose to have provisions in the document that allow flexibility or even renegotiation, phase-ins, or a sunset provision after some years
Having an experienced lawyer is essential to the success of a prenup. At Moffett Law Firm, we have a track record of success handling complex marriage law matters, and we can help you and your future spouse achieve your legal goals.
3. Evaluate Assets and Debts
When it comes to prenups, there is a level of comfort when it comes to knowing where and how your assets may be preserved and distributed after death or divorce. Assets may include the following:
- Real estate
- Savings accounts
- Stock, cryptocurrency, and other investments
- Valuable assets like paintings or collectibles
- Retirement accounts
- Sentimental items and keepsakes
You may also discuss which spouse is responsible for debts and other financial responsibilities. An experienced lawyer is essential to conduct negotiations, acting as an intermediary on each person’s behalf to depersonalize the process.
Speak With the Experienced Marriage Lawyers at Moffett Law Firm
Deciding to start the process of creating a prenuptial agreement is a personal one. With the help of the highly experienced marriage lawyers at Moffett Law Firm, you can successfully execute a prenup without any looming challenges as you begin your new life as a married couple and protect your financial future.