The more people delay marriages until they’re financially stable, the more prenuptial agreements rise in popularity.
Prenups can help couples have important discussions about their financial expectations and goals and – should the worst come to pass – provide a clear plan for the division of any marital assets and streamline the divorce process. First, however, you have to get through the negotiation process with your future spouse. Here are some suggestions that may help.
Start early and avoid undue pressure
Start the negotiations for your prenup well in advance of your wedding date, and don’t pressure your future spouse to sign. A prenuptial agreement needs to be entered into freely by both sides. If your fiancé feels forced to sign, the prenup could later be declared invalid. Plus, you and your fiancé both have to have a reasonable amount of time to obtain legal guidance, if you so desire.
Be transparent and forward-thinking
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both sides have to fully disclose their income, assets and debts to the other. Incomplete or false information puts the entire agreement into jeopardy. Make sure that your prenup also considers the long-term. For example, make sure that you think about how your circumstances may change over the course of your marriage, and plan for things like inheritance, career changes and shifts in your financial circumstances.
Make sure the terms are fair and lawful
It’s hard to think about the possibility that your marriage may not work out, but make sure that your agreement is fair on both sides. Your agreement can be declared unenforceable if it is too lopsided or contains “unconscionable” and unreasonable terms. Remember that you want to also avoid any provisions that are contrary to the law. For example, you cannot include clauses that dictate child support or custody, since those issues are always decided in the best interests of the children.
You’re not supposed to try to mix business and pleasure, but a marriage is just as much about merging your financial lives as it is about romance. Exploring all of your options can make certain that a prenuptial agreement fully supports your goals and is ultimately enforceable.