Making the decision to sign a prenup is not something you should take lightly. It is an important means of protection that you will need to consider carefully before signing any legal document, as it can dictate property division and asset allocation years down the road.
Negotiating a prenup? Be prepared
With so much on the line, negotiating during prenuptial agreement discussions can be crucial in creating one that fair, enforceable and effective. Before you sign anything, you need to be prepared.
To begin with, you should have an idea of what exactly you want to negotiate. As examined in this Forbes article, common points of negotiation can include:
- Monthly expenses
- Estate plans
- Premarital assets
You will also want to prepare for the emotional toll of negotiating a prenup. You no doubt love your soon-to-be spouse, so it may seem hurtful to draw up a document that details who gets what in the event of death or divorce. You can also take personally elements like financial payouts linked to marital behavior and/or length of the marriage.
However, keep in mind that a prenuptial agreement is a legal tool that can help to actually avoid emotional disputes and decisions if the time comes to enforce the document. Further, those involved shape a prenup. This means that you should have as much say in the terms as the other party.
Finally, one of the best ways to prepare for prenup negotiations is to have by your side someone who has experience resolving family law matters and negotiating prenuptial agreements. An attorney can help you understand terms in the agreement, identify unfair clauses and make recommendations so that the prenup best meets your needs. Many couples are now using mediation or the collaborative model to discuss and prepare the agreement. Discussing goals and objectives of each of you with trained professionals is less emotional and bodes well for the future of the marriage.
Preparation is crucial when it comes to premarital documents and negotiations. Knowing what you want, being emotionally equipped for the process and having support can all be critical elements of this preparation.