In a recent article, four professionals – a therapist, a family attorney, a financial planner and a mediator -- sat down to discuss the important aspects of a prenuptial agreement.
They all agreed that although the process of negotiating a prenup can be tough for some, it actually “frees up good will,” which is “so precious to nurturing a worthwhile marriage.” This type of plan is less so an “exit strategy” and more so a plan for a worst-case scenario.
One of the most important aspects of putting together a prenuptial agreement is having a lawyer represent both individuals. The goal of having representation on both sides is to create a fair agreement. Not only that, but a lawyer understands the legal playing field in their state and can make sure the prenup is enforceable. In some cases, a mediator might also be beneficial, as well as a financial planner and a therapist during the process.
It’s important that the prenuptial agreement is reasonable and sensible. It might be a good idea to stay away from fixed dollar amounts and concentrate more on percentages, as it is impossible to predict future earnings or debts. When putting together a prenuptial agreement, both parties should set realistic expectations. Having expectations that are too high can often lead to resentment and disappointment.
Finally, prenuptial agreements can be very helpful in bringing peace of mind to relatives that may wish to leave an inheritance. It is important to take that into consideration. On the other hand, a prenup can also be very helpful when there are children involved from prior marriages.