You are planning to walk down the aisle, but want to ensure both you and your spouse go into the marriage with an understanding of how assets will be divided, in case you decide to part ways. It is a difficult conversation to have and many spouses become defensive when the subject of a “prenup” is raised. Here are five important tips for approaching your spouse about this topic and drafting an effective and enforceable agreement.
Use a Different Topic to Broach the Prenuptial Agreement
Instead of walking into the bedroom and declaring to your spouse that you want a prenup, approach the topic in a less grandiose manner. For example, ask your spouse about their finances. Talk to them about taxes and how the marriage will change your filing status. Once you all are talking about finances, you can then bring up the advantages and disadvantages of prenuptial agreements.
Have the Prenup Conversation Long Before the Wedding
Last-minute prenuptial agreements invite litigation and contention if the marriage falls apart. You need to give yourselves plenty of time to discuss the parameters of the agreement, draft the agreements, and have it reviewed by an experienced Tempe prenuptial agreement lawyer. A good rule of thumb is to have a prenup agreed to as early as six months to a year prior to the wedding date.
Make Sure Both You and Your Spouse Have Legal Representation
Prenuptial agreements are commonly challenged on the basis of an alleged lack of representation. The spouse claims that they were pressured into signing the agreement without having a lawyer on their side reviewing the pertinent details. This is why you, as the party seeking the agreement, should make sure both sides have independent representation. This will not only strengthen the agreement but help diffuse a potential challenge to the legitimacy of the agreement.
Cards on the Table
The objective is to have a prenuptial agreement that is enforceable and provide each spouse with a sense of exactly what they are getting if the marriage comes to an end. This is why you and your spouse need to put the proverbial cards on the table and disclose as much as possible. If you are keeping a bank account all to yourself without informing your spouse, you can rest assured that account will become a point of contention if the marriage ends. Transparency is essential.
Avoid Ridiculous Provisions
Do not include silly clauses such as “Spouse X owes Spouse Y $500 for every pound of weight gained during the course of the marriage.” Yes, people have tried (and failed) to enforce such provisions in court after a marriage fell apart. Keep the agreement focused on assets and liabilities.
Let Us Help Lay the Groundwork for Your Future
To ensure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, contact an experienced Tempe prenuptial agreement attorney. The Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack is here to help. We assist residents of Tempe, Arizona, and surrounding areas with all aspects of family law, including prenups. To speak with an experienced lawyer at our firm, contact or call 480-345-2652 for a free consultation.