term "prenup" is generally at odds with the concept of
romance. Nonetheless, with about one third of all
first marriages, and about half of all of second
or third ones ending in divorce, a prenuptial agreement
is often wise financial planning.
prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people
about to wed that defines how assets will be distributed
in the event of divorce or death. Such agreements have
existed for thousands of years in some form.
The following are some
pre-marital circumstances where a prenuptial agreement
is often prudent;
You have assets such as
a home, stock or retirement funds
You own all or part of a
You may be receiving an
You have children and/or
grandchildren from a previous marriage
One of you is much
wealthier than the other
One of you will be
supporting the other through college
You have loved ones who
need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents
You have or are pursuing
a degree or license in a potentially lucrative
profession such as medicine
You foresee a
substantial increase in income.
The agreement should be
entered well in advance of the wedding. The document
should be signed as early before the nuptials as
possible to avoid the appearance of coercion, which may
lead a Court to render the agreement null and void.
agreement should be fair to both parties. A
Court will look for equity and may disregard the
agreement if it appears that a party has been taken
advantage of. Perhaps the most important
ingredient of a solid prenuptial agreement is honesty.
Both parties must fully disclose their assets. If it
turns out either person has hidden something, a Court
can render the agreement invalid.
Absent a prenuptial agreement, dipsoition of marital
property and marital debts in the event of a divorce is
governed completely by Equitable Distribution Law which
is founded on the philosophy that a marriage, especially
one of long term duration, is an economic as well as a
social partnership. A valid prenuptial
agreement allows you, and not just the Court, to
exercise discretion as to how property will be
distributed between you and your spouse.
If you have plans to get
married, your are encouraged to call this office to
schedule a consultation regarding the necessity of a