Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, October 19, 2009

So, What About a Prenuptial Agreement?

Filed under: Prenuptial Agreements — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Is a prenuptial agreement a cynical admission that love comes second to money or simply a practical nod to reality? Typically, a prenuptial agreement is viewed as a negative element of marriage because it presents the thought of expecting failure within the marriage.

In my research, there are 3 times when a prenuptial agreement “might” make sense.

First of all, a prenuptial agreement, which couples mainly use to state how money will be divided if the marriage doesn’t work, can cost from $2000 to $25,000 depending on the circumstances. Is it worth it?

Maybe. . . if you have a family business and are getting married again. With a prenup you can cut the spouse out of business appreciation, says attorney Mitchell Karpf, “Otherwise he or she may be entitled to half.”

Maybe. . . if you have vastly more savings than your spouse. If you’d be unhappy splitting assets squarely in the event of a divorce, you may want a prenup to state a different arrangement. While a prenup can be a sensitive issue to discuss, you can also look at a prenuptial agreement as a way to allow you, as a couple, to make your own rules about the distribution of your finances, rather than leaving the decision in the hands of the court.

Maybe. . . if you have kids from a previous marriage. A prenup can back up the terms of your will by spelling out the assets that you don’t want your spouse to inherit upon your death.

A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between two people that defines the rights and benefits that will exist during the marriage and if the marriage ends. As a bilateral contract, a prenuptial agreement is harder to contest than a will. In the event of a divorce or death, a prenuptial agreement can determine your right to property, life insurance benefits, retirement plan assets and support payments. Without such an agreement, state laws will determine these rights and benefits.

prenupcartoonThe subject of a prenuptial agreement is a difficult one to bring up. It’s best to discuss this BEFORE the marriage. Does it raise a red flag that screams “I don’t trust you” or “I have my doubts this marriage will work?” It may, if you don’t present it properly, especially if you are a couple that doesn’t communicate well. (If the latter is true, you may want to seek some counseling before entering into a prenuptial agreement.)

If you decide to go the route of the prenuptial agreement, it is recommended that both you and your partner consult an attorney to assist you in the process. Do not attempt to do a prenup by yourselves.

While one of the best preventions to divorce is ensuring you and your soon-to-be spouse have similar expectations of married life – meaning you have to talk about things such as religion, child-rearing, money (joint accounts, etc.), sex, etc. – as well as being able to say “I’m, sorry. I was wrong.” when you really mess up.

Marriage is not an experiment, littered with prenuptial agreements; gushy platitudes and an attitude of “Try me! If it doesn’t work, you can always bail out!” Your vows must mean something for your relationship to prosper. This kind of commitment demands discipline and perseverance.

Remember, relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed. Marriage is tough work – it does not “just happen.”

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Articles: “So, What About a Prenuptial Agreement?“ “Bonding with Stepchildren and Dealing with Problems“ “The Truth About […]

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