divorce360.com provides help, advice and community for people
contemplating, going through or recovering from divorce and the issues around it,
including separation, divorce laws, spousal support and emotional issues.

law  :: advice
Print
Email

Family Ties: Should I Sign a Prenup?


Family Ties: Should I Sign a Prenup?


Relationships: My Fiance Wants Me to Sign a Prenup? Should I Agree?


By CAROLINE SCHACHT

Q: My fiancé is divorced, and in his legal divorce agreement, he was “cleaned out” by his ex-wife. Afraid that this could happen again, he wants us to have a prenuptial agreement. This does not feel good to me. It is as if he does not have confidence that our marriage will last. Should I agree to a prenuptial?
 
A:
People who have been married before are more likely to consider a prenuptial agreement, which is a legal contract entered into by two people before they get married. Prenuptial agreements (also known as premarital agreements or prenups) commonly include agreements about the division of property and any rights to spousal support in the event of separation/divorce or death.            

Some people feel that a prenuptial agreement destroys the romance, conveys mistrust, and reflects pessimism about the future of the marriage. Another point of view is that the process of talking about what would be a fair division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce can potentially increase the intimacy and trust between two people who plan to get married. With about half of remarriages ending in divorce, a prenup may be a smart financial decision. From this point of view, prenuptial agreements are like insurance policies that offer protection in the event something goes wrong.


Even if the prenup appears primarily to protect your fiancé’s assets, it can also protect your assets and can protect you both against a costly legal battle, if divorce was to occur. It is certainly appropriate for you to share your feelings about a prenup with your fiancé. One option is for you and your fiancé to discuss the particulars of what a prenup between you might specify. But If the process of discussing a prenup brings you closer and you feel that the agreements your fiancé suggests including in the prenup are fair, your feelings about proceeding with a prenuptial agreement might change.   

Prenuptial agreements are recognized in all 50 states, but states vary in their laws regarding prenups. It is advisable to consult with an attorney in developing a prenuptial agreement; indeed, you and your fiancé should have separate legal counsel to make sure that each of your interests is represented. Prenuptial agreements should be made well before the wedding date; otherwise, you might feel pressure signing on the dotted line.

Do not sign any agreement if it does not see fair to you or if you feel coerced into signing it. One option you might consider is having a sunset clause in your agreement that states that the prenup agreement is valid for a specified number of years, and then it must be renegotiated. In sum, whether you end up agreeing to a prenup or not, discussing a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable experience for you and your fiancé to  learn about each other’s values, sense of fairness, and ability to negotiate with each other.    

Caroline Schacht has a master’s degree in home economics and another in sociology. She has been trained as a divorce mediator and a teacher at East Carolina University, specializing in courtship and marriage classes. She is the co-author of several textbooks, including "Choices in Relationships and Understanding Social Problems." She can be reached a cschacht@suddenlink.net.




divorce New this week::

Transition Institute: Telling Your Spouse You want to Split - Mental Health: The Dos, Don'ts of Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce

 

Your Kid Wants To Live With Ex - Tips On How To Cope If Your Child Wants To Change Homes

 

Living with a Habitual Liar? - Relationships: Four Ways You Can Tell if Your Spouse is Telling You a Whopper

 

divorce Community::
popular blogs
I am evil...
M and I are still in counseling. We are still arguing but we are still making...read more 

I want his happiness but I don't need his approval
So, I started back to school two months ago. I decided to go through online...read more 

My Three-Step Post-Divorce Dating Strategy
How I Managed to Get Through my First Date after Getting Divorced It took...read more 

get/give answers
Anyone Else Bipolar?
I've looked for articles about bipolar disorder and divorce, and all I've...Read Answers/share yours 

expert Q&As
Faith Therapy : Does a Separation Work?
My Husband and I Are Having Trouble. Is It a Good Idea for Us to Separate?...read more 

Stress Relief: Tips to Help after Separation
Mental Health: Overwhelmed by Changes in Household Routine. What Should I do?...read more 

About Law: Do Divorce Kits Work?
Legal: What You Should Consider When You Think About Divorcing Using a Kit...read more 


expand information center
divorce360.com's ecards
ADVERTISING PARTNERS

Find divorce professionals in your area

Find lawyers
Find financial professionals
Find coaches
divorce focused content ::
divorce most popular ::
1. Eager To Check Those Texts?
Think your Spouse is Cheating? Professionals Can Check Text Messages

2. Are You Reading Your Spouses Text Messages?
Stop! It May Be Illegal & May Hurt Your Case

3. 8 Things No One Ever Tells You about Divorce
Number Three May Surprise You

4. They Won't Leave? Now What?
You Want a Divorce, but Your Spouse Won’t Leave. Here’s How to Get 'em out

5. When Is a Marriage Worth Saving?
10 Things to Think About When Considering Whether to Stick with a Relationship