Prenuptial agreements are more than just a financial plan for your marriage. They also include honest communication about your future and relationship. We’ve consulted Sandra L. Schpoont (family and matrimonial lawyer and partner at Schpoont & Cavallo LLP) and Robert Wallack (celebrity divorce attorney and founder, The Wallack Firm), specializing in matrimonial, and family law matters. They also helped us to break down a prenuptial agreement sample’s jargon, and reveal the five most common mistakes that couples make. Before we get started, let’s clarify what a prenuptial agreement is.
Must Read: planning a destination wedding
Mistake 1 – You shouldn’t discuss it. It’s not romantic, and it’s awkward.
Wallack states that prenups are something that many people do not like to discuss. They feel that it is not romantic so they are afraid to have the conversation. It is a huge mistake to not have the conversation sooner. This should be discussed early and often. This is not something you want to have to deal with on the day of your wedding. He recommends that you have your prenup signed six month before you get married.
Also Read: top destination wedding
Make 2: You have exactly the same lawyer.
Although it may sound odd, the idea behind this tip is that you want both parties to feel as comfortable with the prenup terms as possible. This may not be possible if you have the same lawyer.
Wallack states that the goal should be to reach an agreement that is reasonable, fair, and enforceable for both parties.
3. Mistake: Your emotions can get in the way when you negotiate.
Talk to your partner if you become upset. Give yourself a few weeks to talk and reflect on what is best for you. Talking to a premarital counselor could help you both with prenup issues and other prewedding issues, such as children and religion.
Wallack states that a marriage is just like a romantic relationship. “A prenuptial arrangement is a business transaction in your marriage. So just as with any other financial discussion you have, try to forget your emotions and think clearly.”
4. You rush to reach an agreement, just to close the discussion.
You don’t have to sign a prenup if you aren’t comfortable. It’s not a good idea to sign something that you will regret later. It’s not a good idea to agree to it to end a bad discussion or to please your parents. This will only lead to more problems later on. You should choose a decision you are both 100% comfortable with.
5. Mistake: You keep thinking about the prenup even after it has been signed.
After careful consideration, communication with your partner and signing the prenup, you can move on with your daily life.
Wallack states that clients should always put the prenup in a drawer after they sign it. Keep your eyes on your happiness and the joy of your marriage and don’t open the drawer.
Most popular: a luxury wedding
What legal terms can I expect from a prenup?
It can be difficult to understand legal jargon. Here are five phrases to help you better understand prenups.
Separate property assets, and liabilities: This is what you bring to the marriage, not what your spouse acquires during marriage (that’s marital estate, below).
Operative event, separation or termination: This is the triggering event that brings the prenup terms to life. Usually, this involves filing for divorce, moving out, or sending an intention to divorce.
- Marital property: Property acquired or earned during marriage.
- Separate property: Property which belongs to one party prior to marriage or after divorce.
Spousal support, or maintenance, is financial support given to one spouse after a divorce. Spousal support is a financial aid that allows one spouse to give up their job to care for a child and not have to return to work immediately.
Never Miss: destination weddings
Sunset clause: This clause in a prenup states when the agreement ceases to be valid. It can also determine how much each spouse will get depending on their marriage age. The spouse might receive more money if the couple has children. Remember the Sex and the City episode in which Trey and Charlotte’s prenup said that Charlotte would get more money if she had children if she had boys than girls? This was a completely illegitimate clause.