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How to Draft an Effective Prenuptial Agreement

Published May 4, 2020
Prenuptial agreements used to be stigmatized as documents only used by couples who assumed their marriage would fizzle out. However, drafting a prenuptial agreement can spark important conversations with your partner and solidify your bond while protecting your future.

As you think about your future, it’s important to consider how to protect the assets you’ve worked hard to obtain. If you are about to marry, you may wish to explore the option of putting a prenuptial agreement into place. Although the “prenup” may have been unfairly stigmatized as a document only used by those who were doubtful that their union would last, it is actually a sound decision to put all the necessary protections into place. We never know what turns our lives may take, so it’s worth it to carve out some time to prepare for all possibilities intentionally. So, what goes into drafting an effective prenuptial agreement? Let’s take a look at what one expert recommends.

Keeping an Open Mind

The first step in creating a successful prenuptial agreement is to approach the process with an open mind. You and your future spouse should make all relevant information available to each other and your attorneys. When one spouse hides assets or debts, this can invalidate the agreement down the line. As you work with your attorney to craft the agreement’s language, it’s important to be as fair as possible. If you are preparing to make a serious commitment to each other, you obviously hope that your union will last. So, use language that creates clear guidelines about how you would walk away from your partnership in an equitable way should that day ever unexpectedly arrive.

Addressing Important Considerations

What kind of information is included in a typical prenuptial agreement? Well, depending on your unique backgrounds and other factors, the prenuptial agreement you and your future spouse create will follow a general format with a few customized elements. You’ll first need to spend some time sifting through your individual assets, anticipated income, and other inheritances you expect to receive, as well as any major debts or student loans. You can then specify whether you plan to use separate or joint bank accounts. Many couples agree that any joint accounts will be divided up in divorce or separation, while their personal accounts will remain untouched. It’s also helpful to address any retirement plans you have, as these can become a challenging point of contention during a divorce proceeding.

Putting the Final Document in Place

It is generally recommended that separate attorneys are used to represent the interests of each partner. This allows each spouse to enter into a prenuptial agreement with the confidence that their best interests are adequately safeguarded. As you prepare for your union, take some time to invest in your future, both individually and as a couple. While the process itself may initially seem unnecessary or even downright negative, as if you are already expecting your marriage to fail, most couples report that the process ends up sparking important conversations that actually boost their relationship’s strength.

 

Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. is here to guide you through the prenuptial agreement process in the Portland-Metro area. Call (503) 233-8868 today to get started.

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