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Things to keep in mind before requesting a prenup

Prenuptial agreements are excellent tools for engaged couples who are concerned about how financial issues will be handled in the event their marriage ends in divorce. Given the benefits prenuptial agreements offer, it isn’t surprising that they become more popular in recent years.

Still, requesting a prenuptial agreement can be uncomfortable for engaged couples. For some, it is uncomfortable enough to make them decide not to bring the issue up, despite financial concerns. That is a mistake, though. Bringing the topic up may not be completely easy, but it is worth it for the peace of mind.

The way a couple chooses to bring up the issue and address it will be unique to them, but there are a few tips to keep in mind. One piece of advice is to bring up the issue soon after engagement. Getting the ball rolling can take some time, and negotiating the terms of an agreement can take even longer. The sooner it gets started, the better. It is also important for the party requesting the prenup—nowadays more women are requesting them—to be clear on why they are doing so. This will help steer negotiations and increase the other party’s trust.

In negotiating the terms, it is critical for each party to fully disclose their financial information. Failure to do so can result in an invalid agreement. Each party should be represented by a separate attorney to ensure their rights are protected and the agreement is valid, involving no fraud or duress.

Prenups cannot address every conceivable issue, but they can get the financial details hammered out clearly enough that a couple knows where they will be if they decide to end their marriage. Believe it or not, this can make for a stronger marriage in many cases.

Source: Huffington Post, “How to request a Pre-Nup and Still Get Married,” Daniel Clement, January 24, 2014. 

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