The Five Do’s And Don’ts of Prenuptial Agreements
1. COMMUNICATE. Discuss with your future husband prior to meeting with an attorney. Have a very thorough discussion of why you want it, what you want to protect, and what you feel the advantages are to both you and your future husband. Realize there will be concerns on each side, and each side’s concerns are valid.
2. DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It does not matter if you and your future wife have known for years that a prenuptial agreement would be a necessity – do not wait until a couple months before your wedding to iron out the fine details with attorneys. You never know what issues will arise, and time and care needs to be given to this agreement. Contact an attorney AT LEAST six months prior to your anticipated marriage date, if not more.
3. PREPARE. This is not a situation where you walk into an attorney’s office, tell them what you want, and BAM you have a written agreement two hours later. Bring all information regarding your assets and debts, including but not limited to, current retirement statements, current bank statements, title information to property, income tax returns, business documents, and loan information. While much of the information may seem irrelevant to you, the key a successful prenuptial agreement is a full and fair disclosure of all assets, debts, and income.
4. HIRE THE RIGHT ATTORNEY. The key to satisfaction in any legal proceeding, and particularly when it comes to a prenuptial agreement, is to make sure you are comfortable with you attorney, communication is open on both sides, and expectations are set and met by both. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to your attorney, but you should expect and want your attorney to disagree with you. You are not hiring an attorney to agree with everything you say, you are hiring an attorney to protect you and your marriage.
5. ENJOY. The premarital process, whether it is planning aspects of a wedding or a prenuptial agreement, is stressful, but it goes quickly. Make sure to enjoy your time with your spouse and after you and your spouse have signed the premarital agreement, put it in a safety deposit box and do not think about it again. The idea in doing in a prenuptial agreement is that you hope you will never need it, so do not allow it to affect your pre or postmarital relationship with the person you love.