I have written at length about the benefits of prenuptial agreements in building a strong marital foundation. While many couples seek the benefits that a prenup can provide, there is an increasing number of couples that choose to live together for the long term without getting married. Although they may not choose to marry, these couples often want the same (or similar) protections that are sought through a prenup. While certain benefits and protections come only with marriage, there are certain issues that can be addressed in a written agreement. Continue Reading
A Prenuptial Agreement (“Prenup”) is more than just a legally binding contract. Prenups can help create a solid foundation for how the financial aspects of your relationship will work during the marriage. This helps to build trust and effective communication moving forward. That makes it a wise investment. Negotiations should be conducted with a spirit of cooperation and transparency about financial matters. The goal is to enter the marriage with a full understanding of your situation and clarity on expectations. Continue Reading
Prenups, Post-nups and Separation Agreements are used to address finances and other issues concerning marital rights and obligations. As I have written in the past, prenuptial agreements are an opportunity for couples to have comprehensive discussions about each partner’s finances leading up to the wedding. Additionally, prenups provide an opportunity for the couple to navigate the financial path they would like to take during the marriage. Similarly, post-nuptial agreements afford couples the opportunity to have conversations about finances during the marriage. If a couple is contemplating divorce and has not executed a pre or post-nuptial agreement, a Separation Agreement can be negotiated. A Separation Agreement is a very detailed written contract that you and your spouse voluntarily sign without involving the court. It addresses all of the financial and other issues of the marriage. Continue Reading
The effects of the COVID pandemic are being felt throughout the world in big and small ways. The impact is seeping into the many aspects of daily life. As we all adjust to remote attendance at work, school and other activities, the COVID pandemic has brought home the importance of family relationships. Couples planning their wedding (or expecting to be married soon) have had to rethink the timing and nature of the event. Romantic partnerships have been tested and priorities reassessed.
While some couples have chosen to adjust their wedding plans and are having virtual ceremonies for family and friends to attend via live stream or Zoom, others have opted to trim down the guest list and attempt to celebrate safely and socially distanced. For many couples, the best plan has been to postpone the wedding until a return to “normalcy.” For these couples, there may be a silver lining. Continue Reading
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between two people that is entered into before marriage and takes effect upon marriage. This document has become more popular as couples realize the importance of clarifying expectations and setting a good foundation for communication about finances (and other issues) before the marriage.
Each couple has a unique set of goals and issues to be addressed and the prenup can be specifically tailored with that in mind. Without a prenup, state laws dictate who owns the property acquired during the marriage as well as what happens upon the dissolution of the marriage.
Why get a Prenup? Continue Reading
For couples facing divorce, the accompanying changes may seem endless. An often overlooked, yet extremely important consideration for divorcing couples is a review of the existing wills and other estate planning documents such as a health care proxy, financial power of attorney, and living will. Other documents that should be reviewed are beneficiary designation forms for retirement assets and life insurance policies. Often, a party’s recollection of the beneficiary designations and other provisions is not consistent with the documents. All of these forms should be looked over carefully upon a divorce to ensure that the documents reflect each party’s intentions and conform to the Separation and Settlement Agreement entered into by the parties. If there is a prenuptial agreement in place, it should also be reviewed to determine what the other spouse is entitled to in the event of death. Continue Reading
You may have heard the recent story of a Michigan man who won an $80M lottery jackpot being ordered to split the money with his estranged wife (you can read the story here). When the man bought the ticket back in 2013, the couple had already been separated for about two years. The ticket won as the couple was still separated and in the process of obtaining a divorce. The couple had agreed to use an arbitrator for their divorce. In the case of the lottery winnings, the arbitrator noted that because “losses throughout the marriage were incurred jointly, so should winnings be shared jointly.” With the after-tax winnings totaling roughly $38M, the arbitrator awarded the wife $15M. Upon review of the appeals court, no errors were found. Continue Reading
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