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The Dos and Don’ts of Prenuptial Agreements

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A lot of couples are unsure what to put in their prenuptial agreement or even how to approach the subject with their partner.  Here are some tips to help you get organized:

  1. Know your rights.  Each state divides marital property differently.  If you know how your state divides, this can help you determine the structure of your prenuptial agreement.  (PA and NJ are equitable distribution states!)
  2. Identify the items you want to protect.  Maybe you have a property you bought that you want to keep separate or you stand to become the trustee of a large account.  Highlighting the items you want the prenuptial agreement to govern is key.  This way you can decide what you want to let the state law handle and what terms you want to tailor to you.
  3. Be fair and honest.  This means in the division of assets but also in disclosure of what you have going into the marriage.  One of the fastest ways for a prenuptial agreement to be invalidated is if one of the parties did not fully tell the other what they were holding.  You want this agreement to reflect the tone of your marriage while still allowing you to maintain your separate property.
  4. Encourage review.  Both parties should know exactly what the prenuptial agreement says and what the terms require.  Often one party will have the document drafted by his or her attorney and then sent to the other for review.  You should encourage your partner to have another attorney look at the document for them.  It is important that they have their interests protected also.

If you are engaged and thinking about having a prenuptial agreement drafted, we invite you to schedule an appointment to speak with on of our family law attorneys.  Our firm is highly skilled in drafting these tailor-made documents and can walk you through the process towards a great end result.

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