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the prenuptial agreement [Page 2 of 3]

Couples without a prenup will have their assets distributed for them by the state (i.e., divorce court) if the marriage ends and they disagree on who gets what.

Also, Issler highlights that "prenuptial agreements are seldom entered into by young couples who have few or no assets and are entering into their first marriage."

To be exact, five percent of couples getting married for the first time and twenty percent of couples preparing for their second marriage write prenuptial agreements. Some couples forgo the prenup conversation because they are afraid that their partner may think that they have reservations about the stability of their relationship. There is also an urban myth that only the rich and famous need to worry about protecting their wealth, so many people skip the prenup issue because they don’t think that it applies to them.

If present worth is the issue, Issler is quick to remind us that a prenuptial agreement is not the only option out there. "They can always, if they choose, negotiate and sign a post-nuptial agreement after they are married," Issler says.

Did you know that your spouse might be entitled to a significant percent of your future earnings if he/she supported you in some way (this may be as small as giving you money for groceries) during your college days? There is actually a mathematical formula that lawyers use to calculate the value of professional credentials (e.g., law and medical degrees) in terms of the amount of money that you will make during your entire working life. According to the law, your spouse may be entitled to a percentage of this calculation.

A prenup is also important if this is a second (or third) marriage for either you or your partner. Without a prenup, assets could end up in the hands of your or your spouse’s children from a previous marriage.

Steps in the Prenuptial Process
1. Initiate the discussion early. Whatever you do, do NOT wait until a week before the wedding to broach this touchy subject.
2. Come to a consensus with your partner about what you want the prenup to say. Why pay a lawyer for what you and your darling can hash out together?
3. Hire separate attorneys who specialize in marital law. To help ensure that the prenuptial agreement is legally binding, you need to have your own lawyers.
4. After drafting the prenup with your respective attorneys, make sure to seal the deal with your signatures (duh!)
5. Review and revise the prenuptial agreement every few years to ensure that it continues to reflect your current situation.

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A pre-nup also requires a "meeting of the minds." If you have assets and your spouse to be does not, you may want to consider creating a Trust BEFORE you get married. It will help separate sole and separate from the community and allow you better control over your own assets without someone else telling you how to do it. Visit www.SecondThoughtsonMarriage.com for more info.
Mon, May.24th 2010
Hello, I'm a freelance writer and am working on a piece for the British women's magazine Stylist (www.stylist.co.uk) that I'm hoping you may be able to help with. It's on the trend for marriage contracts/extreme prenups in the US - about how some couples are choosing to lock down all the details they expect from their future spouses - be it cleaning duties, emotional input or when to have children - in contracts that will hold up in court should they divorce. Basically, I'm looking to do short phone interviews with women in their twenties and thirties who have signed such prenups. If that's you, it would be amazing if you could get in touch at naomireilly@live.co.uk by Wednesday morning.
Sat, Mar.20th 2010
Your Comments Thank you Mayflower Mama for your grounded advice, I was considering my 3rd marriage (ever the optimist) and when my intended was informed there would be a pre-nup prior to the wedding, he spat the dummy and disappeared on me. Guess he was looking for a rich old ...and stupid... dame .... I might be the first 2 but I sure aint stupid... just a wee bit hurt in the heart now, but better know now pre-marriage than post-marriage what a gold-digger he was...
lady doctor
Fri, Dec.4th 2009
Lady Doctor you are very wrong. I am an attorney and I can tell you that refusing to sign an inconscionable prenup it advice I would give any client presented with waiving basic rights the state mandates by law. A prenup essentially forces the less wealthy spouse to give up legal rights and remedies which often includes alimony. If you got stuck with 4 kids under age 8 and had signed the prenup, you would become a welfare mom overnight.
Fri, Dec.4th 2009
Your Comments
lady doctor
Wed, Aug.26th 2009
i agree with mayflower mama. She has good points on the pre-nup being a litmus test. Thing is, it's still hard to bring up the subject of a pre-nup. Any suggestions?
Mayflower Mama
Thu, Aug.13th 2009
Actually you need to look at this entirely differently. A pre nup demonstrates good faith, not bad. It says you want your beloved, not his/her money. Wealthy families, like ours, are thrilled to have men and women marry into it who make it clear up front they love our children...and aren't angling for millions of our children's inherited wealth. All wealthy families understand and appreciate this. As a result, we welcome these new sons and daughters who are not golddiggers with enthusiasm and appreciation--and reward them financially all their lives for having integrity rather than greed. I have urged my own children to gladly sign pre nups to show their fiancee/fiance's and their families that they want the person, not the fortune. BTW, I have NEVER heard of a single bride or groom whining over a prenup except those who were golddiggers--never! The mere fact that a man or woman doesn't want to sign one means he or she does in fact have his eye on the other person's money. What you earn together in your life as a couple is "joint" money--this should be enough to divide down the road if your marriage breaks up. I love prenups as a litmus test of who is marrying for money. It's the same concept as penniless brides/grooms insisting on lavish weddings paid for by the other family--why not wear a sign, "I GOT A RICH ONE, YA'LL!" Revolting.
Tue, Nov.13th 2007
I don't know if Trump has a prenup, but his wife is hot

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