You are recently engaged or about to be and you are wondering whether to talk about a Prenup.
You and your partner are so happy right not that you cannot imagine a day in the future that you might not want to be together. You might
think that discussing a Prenuptial Agreement and the topic of finances will hurt your relationship. In reality, a discussion about a Prenup is one of the most important things you can do. It starts a conversation about finances and other issues (such as what will happen to your dog or cat or your collection of photographs and artwork if you add to it during your marriage) that are important to talk about before you get married to help prevent disputes during your marriage or in the event you decide to separate in the future.
I draft Prenuptial Agreements based on my experience representing clients in divorce situations.
I have seen disputes about everything you can imagine and more. Maybe you and your partner collect vinyl records or vintage movie posters or wine. What happens to your collections if you separate? I have had clients with difficulty dividing wedding gifts such as sets of Fine China and crystal and what about that one valuable collection or item given to both of you as a gift. What about that puppy you adopted before you get married or during your marriage!
I ask my clients to think about whether they will be okay financially in the future if their marriage ends. This starts the process of talking with your partner about these issues before you marry.
In the event you do split up, a Prenuptial Agreement resolves in advance many of the issues that come up when couples separate. It reduces conflict and makes your separation less stressful.
You may be thinking that a Prenup is only for couples who have many assets and are “wealthy” but there are many reasons to
consider one…….. Here are just a few:
- You own condo or house and you live in it with your partner
- You have pets and want to be sure there will be no dispute about who your pets will live with if you separate (Read my “Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce” blog here!)
- You have a valuable collection of wine, artwork, photo equipment, or other set of things that are meaningful to you and you want to add to it while you are married
- You want to protect your future inheritance or an inheritance you have already received
- You own a house or a business with your parents, siblings, or other family members
- You expect to become a partner in a business or become a partner in a professional practice such as a medical or dental practice or law firm
- You may start your own business
- You have children from a previous relationship you would like to protect
- You provide some financial support to your parents or other relatives.
At the end of the process my clients tell me that even though they hesitated to go through the Prenuptial Agreement process they felt that it was a positive step to take in their relationship.
I encourage a cooperative process in arriving at a final Prenuptial Agreement and my clients report that it actually helped their relationship. They were able to discuss difficult topics now so that they do not become sources of friction later.
It is best to speak with a family law attorney who knows what to include in a DC Prenuptial Agreement and is experienced in writing Prenups to guide you through the process. You can then decide what is best in your situation.