With people getting married later in life, or after they have children from a previous relationship or marriage, pre and post-nuptial agreements have become more common. It is never an easy topic to bring up with a potential spouse, especially if one party has significantly more assets than the other party; however, it is good financial planning for the future. Pre and post-nuptial agreements are not cookie-cutter agreements, they should be based on the individual needs of the couples getting married and accomplish their individual goals to ensure a harmonious marriage and protection of their hard earned assets; especially if they have children from different relationships and they want to preserve for those children.
The main keys to a binding agreement, in my opinion, are:
- Complete financial disclosure. Not just a list of the values of assets, but
the actual production and exchange of the documents (bank statements, w-2’s tax
returns, trusts, etc.).
- Have a court reporter present at the execution
of the agreement so there is no question as to what happened at the
signing. This will create a record of
what was explained, show no one was forced or coerced into signing anything and
document how long the process took. I
encourage my clients to purchase the transcript and keep it with the pre or
post nuptial agreement and hope to never need either the transcript or the
If you are going to take the time and effort to create a pre or post nuptial agreement be sure you do your homework and hire an attorney that knows the importance of the language used, the goal of what is to be protected and the value of what you are trying to accomplish to protect them and their current and future assets.