So, the two of you have agreed to marry. Congratulations on your love and commitment!
While you’re bubbling in awe of one another, you may want to take advantage of your agreeableness and discuss exactly what the marriage commitment means. And — should you both agree — protect each other legally by putting the ole marriage promises and expectations down on paper.
Are prenuptial agreements romantic? Hardly. Are they valuable? Absolutely, particularly if either of you:
- Have been married before (especially if you have children or grandchildren)
- Own or are a partner in a business
- Have considerable assets or debts
- Have or earn substantially more than your spouse-to-be
- Plan to support your spouse-to-be as he or she pursues higher education
- Aren’t comfortable with Kentucky’s community property laws (which apply in the absence of a valid prenuptial agreement)
First, understand that a prenuptial agreement is NOT at pre-negotiated divorce settlement. It simply clarifies the financial rights of each spouse, ensures that assets are allocated fairly should the marriage end, and protects the inheritance rights of children from previous marriages.
With the increasing number of divorces and re-marriages, “pre-nups” have become very common. Though once considered by Kentucky courts as a waiver of financial benefits by the less wealthy spouse-to-be, these agreements are normally upheld, unless they are judged to be unfair or fail to meet state requirements.
Therefore, it’s important that each of you retain your own lawyer as the agreement is negotiated. Full disclosure of all assets, debts and liabilities by each party is crucial to ensuring that your prenuptial agreement will be legally enforceable.
In addition, the prenuptial agreement must be made willingly and voluntarily, confirmed by each party’s lawyer to comply with Kentucky’s applicable laws, and signed and notarized as far in advance of the wedding as possible.
Obviously, love and commitment are the foundation of any marriage. What better way to strengthen that foundation than by clearly defining each partner’s responsibilities in meeting that commitment?
It’s the practical approach. And your spouse-to-be will probably appreciate the fact you have the sensibility to see through the clouds of giddiness to make sure your marriage starts out on the right foot legally, as well as in love.
Now it’s your turn. What are some good ways to break the ice on discussing prenuptial agreements without upsetting the other person? Share your ideas in the comments.
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