These are the top questions about premarital agreements I have been asked by people looking for more information about prenups so far this year.
What is a Prenup?
Prenuptial Agreements are contracts entered into by couples prior to and in anticipation of marriage, so they are commonly referred to as Premarital Agreements or Antenuptial Agreements. Because people generally use those terms interchangeably, we often just refer to them as Prenups.
A well-drafted prenuptial agreement sets the rules by which a married couple operates should they ever separate and/or divorce down the road. The purpose of a prenup is to set out the terms of the couple’s assets and debts, including property and future earnings and how they should be distributed if the marriage is dissolved. A prenup must not attempt to establish terms relating to the custody or care of children the couple may have.
Should I consider a Prenup?
If you are considering marriage, yes. Do it early! It may be the least-fun part of your wedding planning, but the reality is that divorce rates are too high to ignore.
According to analysts and attorneys:
• 41%-50% of first-time marriages end in divorce
• 60-67% of second marriages end in divorce
• Approx. 74% of third marriages fail
Unfortunately, many marriages don’t have a fairytale ending. Those divorcing couples who entered into a valid prenuptial agreement before getting married have a document that provides certainty as to their rights, minimizes conflict and legal costs. A well-drafted prenup is like a roadmap that helps both spouses find the path of least resistance and conflict amidst the emotional turmoil of the separation and divorce process.
Smart, responsible adults routinely prepare for disasters as an obvious part of their everyday lives, but they generally protect against catastrophic events that have less than a 5% chance of occurring. The chances of a “marital disaster” approach 50% or higher, so every marrying couple should at least consider getting a prenup. More and more couples are choosing to Love Smarter, as the number of people with a fiancé or spouse who reported having a prenuptial agreement increased by 300% from 2002 and 2010.
 According to studies conducted by Harris Interactive.
Won’t a Prenup kill our romance and mean we don’t trust each other?
Many people considering marriage reject the idea of getting a prenuptial agreement because it kills or decreases the romantic whirlwind and fun of the wedding planning. No, prenups aren’t romantic contracts but discussing a premarital agreement should be an important part of every couple’s wedding planning process.
An important benefit of entering into a premarital agreement is that it forces a couple to have a candid discussion about their expectations in the event the marriage doesn’t last forever, which helps them get to know and understand each other that much better before saying “I do”. People enter into contracts with people they trust, right? When a marrying couple can meaningfully discuss and agree on what happens if their marriage doesn’t work, entering into that “unromantic” prenup actually proves that the spouses do trust each other, and they can enter the marriage with more confidence. Trust me, there’s nothing romantic about a soul-sucking, emotionally draining divorce trial.
Are Prenups Enforceable?
We get asked this question all the time, because many people doubt that prenuptial agreements are enforceable based on misinformation they have read, rare court cases, and movie fiction. Yes, a prenuptial agreement should be enforceable if it is prepared and executed in accordance with the applicable law. Most states have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, making prenups valid and enforceable if done correctly.
Does a Prenup mean I won’t get Alimony?
No, a prenup can provide for some guaranteed amount of alimony, or none at all. It is your choice. You and your fiancé can agree on (1) some fixed or varying amount of alimony, (2) some alimony if needed, (3) alimony for a period of time or until something happens, (4) amending the prenup to provide some alimony if one spouse quits work to take care of the kids, etc., or (5) no alimony at all.
Can Same-Sex Couples get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Absolutely. Prenup Pros encourages both same-sex and traditional marrying couples to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot.
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