The romantic events of courtship, engagement, and planning a wedding can be an amazing emotional whirlwind. It can provide a soon-to-be-married couple with love-filled adrenaline and confidence that their relationship will be iron-clad and never fall apart. Any suggestions during this time that the couple consider a prenuptial agreement may appear to one or both of the individuals to be insensitive and an insult to their committed love for each other. Suspicious-minded individuals may view a prenuptial agreement as a document that will set their relationship up for failure.
Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
Putting emotions and suspicions aside, a prenuptial agreement could be viewed as an important document that protects not only one or both parties, but also protects children from prior relationships and businesses and other interests. Relationships can be complicated. Every situation is unique. Each person may have his or her own past relationships to consider. Each person may have his or her own children, assets, debts, and interests to consider.
If marriage is on the horizon, it may be helpful to gain an understanding of prenuptial agreements. As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Does each individual coming into the marriage understand what a prenuptial agreement could provide? Does each individual coming into the marriage understand what might happen if there is not a prenuptial agreement?
Consider consulting with an attorney to learn about the protections and restrictions a prenuptial agreement can and cannot provide.
Common Questions About Prenuptial Agreements
Here are some questions to consider asking during a consultation with an attorney.
1, What, in general, are the pros and cons of having a prenuptial agreement?
2. Should each party retain his or her own attorney?
3. What information and documentation, financial or otherwise, will be needed from each party when discussing a prenuptial agreement?
4. What types of provisions cannot be enforced or are difficult to enforce in a prenuptial agreement?
5. How can a prenuptial agreement help protect funds for children from prior relationships in the event of divorce or death?
6. How can a prenuptial agreement protect business and other interests?
7. Will a prenuptial agreement require modification of estate planning documents?
8. Will a prenuptial agreement require modification of deeds or beneficiary designated assets?
9. Is there a suggested amount of time to allot for preparation, review, and signing of the prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding date?
10. What might happen in the event of death or divorce if there is not a prenuptial agreement?
The above are just some ideas of questions. Every situation is unique. Depending on your situation, there may be additional questions to consider asking an attorney with regards to a prenuptial agreement.