Prenuptial agreements (“prenups”), much like relationships themselves, are not “one size fits all.” Each couple has a unique set of goals and issues to be addressed. The content of a prenup reflects these individual objectives. People hesitant about obtaining a prenup often conflate the idea with certain common misconceptions and opinions. One sentiment often brought up is the notion that prenups only prepare for divorce. However, the principal goal of a prenup is to clarify expectations about the couple’s future regardless of whether there is a divorce. I have written in the past about the benefits of prenups for all kinds of couples. A prenup can act as a platform for compromise, while allowing couples to be proactive about their future, the management of their assets, and the expectations for their lifestyle. Once a couple does decide to obtain a prenup, what should the agreement actually cover? Continue Reading
With Valentine’s Day upon us, it is a great opportunity to discuss the positive effects that prenups can have on a relationship. In my book, Prenups and the Elephant in the Room, I cover the common misconceptions about prenups, and how couples can work together to face these misconceptions. Below is an excerpt from my book which discusses the misconceptions themselves, as well as how couples can use these misconceptions to start the discussion about a prenup. Continue Reading
Prenuptial agreements are on the rise for Generation Y individuals, or “Millennials”, according to recent reports in the news. What is it about this group that is lending itself to an uptick in prenups? Continue Reading
High-stakes negotiations are often characterized as intense back-and-forth battles where only one party wins. The winner takes all while the other party may suffer a loss of both objectives and dignity. A loss of dignity in negotiations for a prenup can have a long-lasting effect on the relationship. Negotiating a prenup can (and should) be about coming to a mutually beneficial agreement for both parties. While the marital relationship is considered an economic as well as social partnership, establishing a foundation for the economics of the relationship can be challenging. The goal of the negotiation should be conducive to creating a durable, family-oriented agreement. Below are five reasons the “art of the deal” is not a zero sum game when it comes to family: Continue Reading
One of the most common questions I receive from clients is how to bring up a prenuptial agreement with a future spouse. There is no uniform answer to this because every couple has its own dynamics, and a prenup conversation should reflect this. With that being said, there are some basic ideas to help your path to a prenup go more smoothly. Continue Reading
In today’s constantly connected world, the way we interact with one another has changed. Relationship milestones are now often celebrated through technology and are sometimes reached through technology itself. Becoming Facebook official sometimes marks the real beginning of a relationship. Sharing a Netflix password may signify that the relationship is serious. Having a joint iTunes account is often part of a modern relationship. In a world that is increasingly dependent on the use of technology, how can you safeguard your own digital assets? Continue Reading
A postnuptial agreement (“postnup”) is an agreement entered into by a couple after marriage. The agreement can cover a range of topics from lifestyle issues to the couple’s wishes if they choose to divorce. A postnup, like a prenup, is designed to protect the marriage and provide the couple with security. Because it is a legally binding agreement, a postnup must conform to certain requirements based on the state in which it is enforced. While couples often choose to work with an attorney to execute a postnup, some couples try to do it on their own. This was the case in the recent Ballesteros decision. Continue Reading
Prenuptial agreements can include many different areas, including maintenance arrangements in the event of a divorce. Specific requirements and limitations on maintenance provisions vary from state-to-state. A celebrity prenup has recently come into the news because one spouse is challenging the maintenance provision of the agreement and requesting a modification. It does not appear that he is challenging the prenup itself, just the maintenance provision. Continue Reading
Ken Griffin, considered Illinois’ richest man and worth billions, has recently settled his divorce case right as the trial over his prenuptial agreement was set to begin. Griffin and his estranged wife have been in a divorce battle for over a year. The main issue was the validity of a prenuptial agreement the couple had executed.
Although the final prenuptial agreement was not signed until the day before the couple’s wedding, the court ruled that the agreement is valid. This case is a great example of how hard it is to challenge the validity of a prenuptial agreement. The court will look at many factors in making the determination. Continue Reading
The popularity of prenuptial agreements is on the rise for couples of all ages. A prenup can be just as important to couples on their first marriage and in their 20’s and 30’s, as it is to individuals on a second or third marriage and in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (and on up). Today, many couples want to establish property and financial rights before marriage. The content of the agreement is unique because it is based upon the couple’s particular goals and financial situation. If a prenup is properly prepared, future disputes over money and other issues can be avoided. Many people think of a prenuptial agreement as a contract like any other. That is not exactly the case. Because of the delicate nature of prenuptial agreements and the relationship of the parties, it is much more than just a contract. In addition to general contract principles, prenups come with a set of rules and regulations all their own. For that reason, how a couple arrives at agreement and how the prenup is drafted is extremely important.