Prenuptial agreements are often the butt of many jokes.  Stand-up comedians never lack fodder for their routines when this is the topic.  But, though we might chuckle and get a laugh over the idea of a rich old codger marrying a woman less than half his age, or, the wrinkly old woman marrying her pool boy, these are real stories that happen every day.  Unfortunately, though family members may try to dissuade the union, it happens anyway, AFTER a prenuptial agreement is in place, of course.

Love and marriage

In these modern times, a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” as it often termed, is not just for rich folks to prevent “gold diggers” from glomming onto their good fortune.  As you might well imagine, the suggestion to the intended to put a prenuptial agreement in place is not received with much enthusiasm.  Some may be view it as a personal affront and bristle at the mere suggestion of entering into a contract about assets before a marriage can even take place.  On the other hand, it is a good way to set forth the specifics of a couple’s assets and income, and its disposition, in the event of divorce, separation or death.  It is a plan for the rest of your married years, and, serves to preserve the nature of all property in the event the marriage ends.

Advantages of a prenup

Psychologists suggest that putting a prenuptial agreement in place may actually strengthen a couple’s relationship, but others feel that negotiating this document is apt to quickly lead to conflict and a suggestion of miscommunication.  But, psychologists say that communication is the key here, so hunkering down and discussing money matters can actually improve the quality of the relationship, support your relationship and support good communication in your marriage.  If you simply cannot accept that “invite” from your intended to sign a written agreement about your combined assets once marriage takes place, perhaps talking frankly about money and property can eliminate the bound-to-be misunderstandings that will rear their ugly heads between the couple.  Sadly, financial situations often become a bone of contention in a marriage, and, so perhaps just embrace the prenup idea now and get it over with sooner, rather than later.

Disadvantages of a prenup

While there is a lot to be said for a carefully crafted, clearly written prenuptial agreement, of course, there are some downsides to consider as well.  It sure is not the most-romantic item to present to your intended, is it?  Being in love is all about hearts and flowers and not financial documents – it is way too much practicality injected into a seemingly perfect world… or what had been a perfect world which now seems to be destined to be a financial partnership rather than a romantic one.  If the concern of entering a signature onto such a document as a prerequisite for a permanent relationship is a little daunting, then perhaps the document, as well as the relationship, are not cut out for you.  If you wish to discuss the option of a prenuptial agreement in your state, you should contact a family lawyer today;  A top family law attorney in NJ will be able to go over all of the pros and cons of a prenup in NJ and will draft the document per your requirements.

If you are gun shy

Some state laws may protect you without a prenuptial agreement in place. The laws of your state may do a good job of accomplishing what you want.  For example, you may live in a community property state where assets owned before marriage are separate property and those accumulated during marriage are community property that is owned fifty-fifty.  Well, this might work in lieu of a prenuptial agreement and keep peace in the relationship, right?  It even may make the whole prenuptial agreement a waste of time.  But, if you are unclear about what state laws consider community property, why not consult with a top family law attorney in New Jersey to get everything firmed up before the wedding vows are exchanged and to clear up any misconceptions as a result of an incorrect interpretation of the law and to ensure you  are not facing any special circumstances where your state law may be unclear.Happy Married Couple

If you’re game

There are basically only two types of prenuptial agreements, (and, a third if you wish to count an agreement prepared after marriage and that is called a post-nuptial agreement).  To have a prenup prepared, your best bet is to meet with a family law attorney and he or she will take your financial circumstances into account and draft the contract. 

Make it valid

Once you meet with a divorce attorney for him to draft the prenuptial agreement, certain criteria must exist before the final version of the contract, or prenup may be considered valid.   The contract must be in writing with full disclosure whereupon signatures are affixed and a seal is in place, for better or worse, until death do you part… well, hopefully.