You don’t have to be a celebrity – or especially wealthy – to need a pre-nuptial agreement. It could be you have assets that you want to make sure remain under your control regardless of whether you remain together forever. You might want to establish a plan for co-mingling or keeping separate your finances during the marriage. Or you simply might be looking to avoid the conflicts and uncertainty over finances that often come with divorce.
A pre-nuptial agreement isn’t a one-size-fits-all legal document. While there are financial issues and challenges that many couples have in common, a pre-nuptial agreement works best when it’s tailored to a couple’s
specific needs. Here are some pointers to make the pre-nuptial agreement process a positive part of your planning for a long and happy marriage.
Know your goals (and your partner’s) before you start
The pre-nuptial agreement can be part of an overall conversation you and your spouse-to-be have about your financial goals. Since financial issues are one of the major factors in marriages that fail, talking about finances
before you get married is a great line of defense against the money problems that can create trouble down the road.
Learn what protections already exist
When you consult with an experienced family lawyer about a pre-nuptial agreement, you will learn what legal rights and protections you have before, during, and after you enter into a marriage, what rights you might be
waiving upon signing a pre-nuptial agreement, and what protections will serve you and your spouse best — wherever you make your home.
The sooner, the better
It can be awkward or even emotionally difficult to talk about the possibility of separation or divorce in the middle of wedding planning. The sooner you’re able to talk about the protections a pre-nuptial agreement will provide — preferably, at least six months before the wedding date — the sooner you’re able to focus on the joyous event, and the better able you are to celebrate your wedding.