Valentine’s Day is definitely the most romantic day to pop the big
question. The atmosphere sets the tone to take that beautiful ring out
of your pocket, profess your love, and hope to spend a lifetime together.
Getting engaged on Valentine’s Day is gaining popularity among this
generation and so are prenuptial agreements. Once a couple has committed
to marrying, they start thinking about being prepared.
Prenuptial agreements are designed to protect the best interests of people
just in case things don’t work out as they originally planned (that’s
life, after all). They shouldn’t all be viewed as selfish, pessimistic,
or an expectation of failure. It is simply a way for partners to take
control of their own arrangements without needing to leave it in the hands
of expensive lawyers or judges.
As a divorce attorney/mediator and prenuptial agreement expert, I have
drafted hundreds, if not thousands of prenuptial agreements in the last
Signing a prenuptial agreement is usually a good idea if you fall into
any of these categories:
You earn significantly more than your partner. If you bring in quite a bit more income than your partner, your partner
could end up with up to half of that money if you ever divorce. Signing
a prenuptial agreement can help you keep what is yours.
You earn significantly less than your partner. Similarly, if your income is much lower than your partner’s, signing
a well-crafted prenuptial agreement can protect you in the event of a divorce.
You are significantly wealthier than your partner. Signing a prenuptial agreement is a good way to ensure that your partner
is marrying you for you, not for your money.
You plan to quit your job to raise children. Leaving a job to raise a family will have a negative impact on your wealth
and income. Signing a prenuptial agreement can protect a homemaker with
the financial burden of raising children.
You own all or part of a business. Without signing a prenuptial agreement, your spouse could end up owning
a portion or value of your business if you divorce. By signing an agreement,
you can prevent your spouse from becoming an unwanted business partner
and do something fair in return.
Your partner has a large amount of debt. If you are marrying someone who has significant debt, signing a prenuptial
agreement may prevent you from becoming responsible for those debts in
the event of a divorce.
You wish to protect your estate plan. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that your estate plan functions as
you planned. As an example, it can help keep a cherished heirloom in the
family rather than potentially losing it during property division or a divorce.
You are remarrying. When a person chooses to remarry, they have very different financial
and legal concerns than in a first marriage, including things like children,
support obligations, and possession of property or other significant assets.
Signing a prenuptial agreement with your new partner can ensure that your
wishes for all of your family will be followed when you pass away.
There are several issues I see as a common thread that lead to divorce.
Here are four tips to protect your relationship from the very outset:
Discuss Finances. Before getting married, couples often discuss where they are going to
live, children, careers, and what side of the bed to sleep on…
but rarely money. Some people have anxiety, guilt, or even shame about
the way they handle money. Do you really want to tell a potential spouse
that you’re an over-spender? Not exactly the topic of discussion
you want to have before you walk down the aisle. Have an open and honest
conversation with your future spouse about your finances and know your
“money style.” Will you share information about income and
assets? “No” is often a red flag.
Be Aware of Abusive Qualities. Abuse comes in more forms than just physical. Things like name-calling,
playing the blame game, emotional manipulation, and attacks on your character
and abilities are all signs of emotional abuse. Of course, if your future
spouse actually physically abuses you then that is an immediate sign that
it is time to exit. Violence never solves anything and you don’t
deserve any kind of physical abuse. It usually gets worse as time goes by.
Get a Prenuptial Agreement. Money matters, what religion you plan to raise your children in, family
business ownership, and planning for inheritance are just several crucial
topics that are brought to the forefront when discussing a prenuptial
agreement. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Having a professional
design your prenuptial agreement is very important. I have reviewed some
prenuptial agreements that have not always been fair to both parties.
Choose a prenuptial expert (like me)! It matters!
See a Therapist. This person should be an objective, nonpartisan third party concerned
for the emotional well-being of you and your future spouse as a couple.
A therapist is someone who can talk you and/or your soon-to-be spouse
through the logistics of making decisions and compromises where there
are no losers and help you navigate the peaks and valleys of being in
a healthy marriage. Personality disorders are a big warning sign. Do not
Communication helps ensure that you don’t marry the wrong person
and that you stay married to the right person.
As a highly skilled, psychologically trained family law attorney and prenuptial
agreement specialist, I can craft an agreement that will protect your
future. If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements, please
call me at 212.734.1551.
FREE CONSULTATIONS are still
conveniently available virtually.
I look forward to speaking with you!
Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Call New York divorce attorney Lois Brenner today.
She is New York’s premier authority on prenuptial agreements!
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.