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Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

How to Draft a Prenup You Never Plan to Use

You’re engaged, planning your wedding, and ready to start your future together. However, there is one important piece of business that you should address with your future spouse before celebrating and planning your future.


A prenuptial agreement can help you and your soon-to-be-spouse establish the kind of honesty and long range planning that will make the financial side of your marriage successful.

Before you enter the contract of marriage, you should have a plan about what to do if you decide to divorce. Establishing a prenuptial agreement before marriage is smart financial planning. This legally-binding document does not look forward to a couple’s imminent divorce. Instead, a prenup is a private contract that outlines the decisions regarding each spouse’s property if they dissolve their marriage in the future. If you do divorce and have a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse won’t have to suffer through the emotional and financial costs of dividing every asset.

Drafting a Prenup

The prenuptial agreement lawyers of Petrelli Previtera, LLC believe that it is important to negotiate and execute a fair and legally binding prenuptial agreement with the person you love before other things get in the way.  In order to do so, it is important that:

1. The document is equitable.

A court is unlikely to uphold a prenup that is blatantly one-sided and that does not account for the interests of both parties. In other words, the agreement is less likely to be challenged in the first place if it is fair. A publication in the New York Law Journal discussed this requirement, noting that many statutes require the prenuptial agreement be “fair and reasonable at the time of the making of the agreement and … not unconscionable at the time of entry of final judgment.”

2. Both soon-to-be spouses have legal representation.

The court will presume that both parties understand the terms of the agreement before signing it. So, each party should have independent legal counsel review the proposal. If both partners are represented by lawyers, then both of their interests will be protected. It is often acceptable for one spouse to pay for the other’s legal representation. If this is the case, it may be wise to include some language within the document stating that the recipient chose his or her counsel and was satisfied with the provided representation.

3. All the details that are important to you are included in the agreement.

While things like child custody cannot be included in a prenup, other important things can.  The most common details are those that relate to property, money, inheritance and other assets. It can address important considerations such as property division, separate property, and spousal support.

It cannot be stressed enough: do not attempt to hide assets when putting together a premarital agreement. Although complete disclosure of every single asset is generally not necessary, both parties should be provided with enough information to have an understanding of the impact of the agreement.

What a Prenup Can Do

Set rules about marital assets: A prenuptial agreement protects spouses’ rights and obligations to their property. In other words, the document decides ahead of time which items are marital assets and which would be separate in the event of divorce.

For example, if one spouse owned a home before marriage, the document might state that he or she would have full ownership. That also includes full obligations to the financial costs associated with the house.

Protect one another from the other spouse’s debts: The document can limit each spouse’s debt liability. That way, creditors cannot go after all the marital property if one spouse accrues debt.

Protect children from previous relationships: Spouses with kids from previous relationships can entitle them to money and property.

Protect family property: Couples can note heirlooms, inheritances, business, and other family-owned property in the prenup. Doing so keeps their ownership within their birth families.

Simply put, prenups protect spouses’ property. A couple can typically include anything financial-related in the agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions clients commonly ask us about prenuptial agreements.

Why do I need a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement offers each spouse certain protections in case they divorce in the future. This legally-binding document can do the following:

  • Determine which property (such as homes, cars, and jewelry) would be marital assets and which would be separate
  • Limit each spouse’s debt liability
  • Protect the entitlement of children from a previous marriage to money and property
  • Protect heirlooms, inheritances, business, and other family property

Couples have many options when creating their prenuptial agreement, but there are a few things the document cannot legally do. For example, it can’t defy criminal law or public policy. A prenup also cannot outline personal obligations, determine child support, custody, and in most cases, alimony.

What items Cannot be covered in a Prenup?

Personal obligations: Prenuptial agreements cannot split up chores, outline a parenting plan, or require the spouses to behave in a certain way.

Determine custody or child support: Spouses cannot include decisions about where their children (or future children) will live in the event of divorce. They also cannot predetermine how much a spouse would pay in child support.

Violate the law: A prenup cannot defy criminal law or public policy.

Alimony (in most cases): Very few states will enforce spousal support obligations in a prenuptial agreement.

What information should be collected when we start talking about our prenuptial agreement?

Before you get married, establishing a prenup will do more than protect your financial future. It can also start an important conversation about the assets you and your fiancé have and plan to have in the future.

Ready to write up an agreement? Use the below checklist to get started.

  • List the property and assets you and your fiancé own separately.
  • Identify the assets you bought together.
  • List your separate debts and other liabilities.
  • Note any inheritances you know you’ll each receive.
  • Talk about your future financial goals.
  • Write down important financial issues you would like to include.

What are the steps involved in creating a strong prenuptial agreement?

If you and your soon-to-be spouse have decided to file a prenuptial agreement, you have already taken the first step toward smart future financial planning. Next, there is a lot to think about. The following steps will help you navigate the process of creating a strong premarital agreement — even if you never need to use it.


Tackle the document as early as possible. When you give yourselves enough time, you’ll be able to thoroughly consider the terms you want to include and to make any necessary revisions without rushing.

Before you meet with an attorney, there are a few lists you and your partner can make. In our prenuptial agreement FAQ, our attorneys outline the factors to think about ahead of time:

  1. All your property and assets
  2. Your debts and other liabilities
  3. Inheritances you have or expect to receive
  4. Your future financial goals
  5. Any financial-related issues that might be important to discuss

By getting started early and having a private discussion before your first meeting, you and your soon-to-be spouse will be ready to create a great first draft.


Be reasonable when coming up with the terms of your agreement. Avoid a one-sided prenup. It will not hold up in court if you ever need to use it. Creating a strong prenuptial agreement is an exercise in communication. Give each other the same respect and courtesy you always do.

Simple Content

Once you know all the terms you want to include, be as clear as possible. Use plain language in your agreement. There is no need for technical terms, legalese, or minute and unnecessary details.

In addition, be sure to draft a clause to protect each other in the event of death. It’s a good opportunity to identify how your spouse will be taken care of.


Make sure you read the entire document before signing it. Avoid rushing into an agreement you aren’t comfortable with or clear on. Take your time and ask any questions you might have.


You and your partner should each have your own lawyer when creating the agreement. One partner will typically have an attorney draft the document and then send it to the other for review. At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we have served clients on either side of the process.

If you’re ready to start the process of creating a prenuptial agreement, feel free to call our firm. We can further discuss the steps you and your partner should take.

How can my future spouse and I prepare for our meeting about drafting a prenuptial agreement?

Before meeting with one of our attorneys, you can list the following:

  1. Property and assets you own separately
  2. Property and assets you purchased together
  3. Debts and other liabilities you are separately responsible for
  4. Inheritances you will each receive
  5. Your future financial goals as individuals and as a couple
  6. Any financial-related issues that might be important to discuss while establishing the agreement

Taking a moment ahead of time to list these details is a great way to start the discussion and prepare to draft the document.

Why Do Prenuptial Agreements Have Such A Bad Reputation?

Historically, there has been a negative stigma around prenuptial agreements, often perceived as planning for failure. However, these agreements are designed to bring clarity to financial aspects of marriage, ensuring both partners understand their respective rights and responsibilities. Recent data reflects a shift in perception: A September 2023 Harris Poll found that 50% of U.S. adults at least somewhat support prenups, though only 1 in 5 married couples have one. As more individuals marry later in life, they consult attorneys to secure their assets, businesses, and other valuables. Opting for a prenup doesn’t signal mistrust; it’s a pragmatic approach to modern marriage.

What should we focus on when drafting a prenup with our attorneys?

You have already decided to take the first step toward smart financial planning as a married couple. When drafting your prenuptial agreement, keep these qualities in mind:Time and preparation: Give yourselves ample time before the wedding to complete the steps.

Fairness: The court will not accept an agreement that doesn’t seem fair. Think reasonably and focus on one another’s best interests when discussing the terms of the agreement.

Simplicity: There is no need for complicated text. Put the prenuptial agreement in plain language, and only go into extra detail when necessary.

Be sure to review the entire final draft before your attorney files it. Ask questions if you are unsure about the terms, and speak up if something might be missing.

When To Get A Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenups are never a bad idea. If you have assets that you want to protect, you should always think about creating a prenuptial agreement. This will help clarify exactly what your terms are and what you expect in the future.

The most important thing to keep in mind is having open communication with your spouse if a prenuptial agreement is something you want.

Can You Have An Agreement After Marriage?

One of the most frequently asked questions is if you can create a prenuptial agreement after the marriage is legal. The answer is yes! However, it is called a post-nuptial agreement. This may happen if there is financial trouble, legal problems, or if the couple decides to have kids and want to protect their inheritance. It also may happen if a person has inherited money from family members. You will always have the option to sit down with an attorney and receive help.

When To Talk To A Lawyer?

If you are worried about what others will think of a prenuptial agreement, don’t worry. Our attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC will help you put your fears at ease. This is a natural part of the relationship that many couples go through. You will be able to discuss all of the assets that are most important to you.Contact Petrelli Previtera, LLC today to book a consultation call and begin finding clarity!

If I need a prenup, what can Petrelli Previtera, LLC do for me?

Both soon-to-be-spouses should know exactly what the terms of the prenuptial agreement mean. When a couple decides to establish a prenup, one person will typically have an attorney draft the document and then send it to the other for review. Our firm can act as counsel for one spouse and draft the agreement. Then, the other spouse’s attorney can review it. Alternatively, we can review a proposed prenuptial agreement to determine whether it is complete, legal and equitable. If the document could be better, our attorneys can help make the necessary revisions.

Is Cryptocurrency considered an asset for a prenuptial agreement?

Cryptocurrency is a valued financial asset that should be considered in a prenuptial agreement. Just like other financial assets, if owned, cryptocurrency should be declared by any party that owns them so that a determination can be made about whether they are separate assets or marital assets. Although this is an emerging trend, people are beginning to address cryptocurrency in their prenuptial agreements. The challenge with discovering cryptocurrency in a divorce is locating it. Including it in a prenuptial agreement confronts that challenge by addressing the asset, disclosing the asset, and then protecting the asset just like other assets in the agreement.

Contact Our Firm for Assistance

For more information about drafting a prenuptial agreement, please call us or fill out our online contact form. A prenuptial agreement lawyer with Petrelli Previtera, LLC can explain the process and discuss next steps.

Call 866-465-5395 to schedule an appointment.

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Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

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