That was my initial reaction when my soon-to-be husband brought up the subject of us entering into a prenuptial agreement. I recognize now that I totally misunderstood what my fiance intended, and that in our case, the prenup was just an agreement to protect our children from our previous marriages in the event that one of us died.
Prenups do not necessarily signify a divorce or an anticipation of a failed marriage. They may not even include a mention of divorce if the parties do not wish to discuss that possibility. Prenups may just spell out some agreements that you and your fiance would like to make regarding some important decisions that will result in a more successful marriage.
Here are a few examples of issues that can be worked out in a prenup:
- Who and how will you make financial decisions?
- Who will handle the checkbook?
- Where will you deposit earnings from your jobs? Will you have separate or joint accounts?
- How will savings be handled? Who will manage the money saved?
- If you come into the marriage with assets, how will you handle those assets? Will you keep them separate or commingle them?
- How will you share responsibilities in the household?
- If you are entering into a second marriage and have children from your previous marriage, how will you separate money for the children from your first marriage vs money for any children you may have in your second marriage, or money to be shared with your second spouse?
- If you come into the marriage with debt, whether school loans or other forms of debt, how will the debts be handled?
- Do you agree to have children?
- Will you both continue working once you have children?
- If you are of different religions, have you talked about in which religion you will raise the children?
- How may a choice of career impact the other spouse and the children? What if one of you chooses a career that is more satisfying intellectually but earns less than your earning capacity?
- If you own a business or intend to start one, what will be the role of your spouse in relation to that business?
We all agree that questions may arise in a life together that cannot be anticipated but for those that can, you will both gain and learn more about each other by working them out before saying “I do.”
So, don’t be concerned about the prenuptial agreement. The mediation setting will help you explore and discuss some of the ideas above or others that may be on your mind, and relieve some of the anxieties you may have as you embark on your married life!
And by the way, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Safian Mediation wishes you both all the best for a long and happy life together!
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jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 email@example.com connect on