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Prenuptial Agreements

For many individuals who are either older and marrying for the first time or contemplating a subsequent marriage, a prenuptial agreement may be an important issue to discuss before you marry in order to determine how assets would be distributed upon a divorce or upon your death. So how do you go about addressing this issue to your intended?

First, you should be clear about your intent in having a prenuptial agreement. The more clarity you have regarding the reasons you need to have this legal document drafted and signed before marrying, the more success you will have in conveying your intent both to your intended and to your lawyer.

Don’t rush drafting or executing these agreements. This process should be metered and well-considered (e.g. Don’t present the unseen and unconsidered agreement to your husband-to-be the night before the wedding).

Creating a prenuptial agreement can be a kind thing to do. This is especially so if you include language that requires civil and respectful behavior and communication and provides for settlement mechanisms such as negotiation and mediation. Setting the stage for respect and civility in the midst of potential conflict can help mitigate the trauma associated with relational discord.

An additional tip for ensuring a sound prenup sounds like a “no-brainer.” Every detail for which you require agreement should be in the document. If you forgot to include something, want to change an item, or a new issue arises after the proper execution of the agreement, an amended agreement should be drafted and executed with the same formalities as the original agreement.

While there are many other issues of which you should be aware, one that stands out is the need for full disclosure of each other’s debts and assets. You may be tempted to provide or require only an overview of the debts and assets. However, that can lead to the agreement being de-clared invalid should it be contested.

While discussing premarital agreements with your intended may not be very romantic, it can provide peace of mind to you and your family.

At Mara Law, we focus on protecting you, your family, and your assets in the areas of Elder Law and Family Law. We would be honored to assist you with a premarital agreement should you need one.

If you are interested in a premarital agreement, it is important to consult with an attorney versed in both family law and estate planning. Please contact Mara Law, P.A. at 555 West Granada Blvd., Ste. D-10, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174, Telephone 386.672.8081.