People assume that prenuptial agreements are ‘worst case scenario’ documents. To the contrary there are actually many professionals and therapists that feel prenups are vital to a marriage, and serve purposes far beyond what our traditional view of a prenup is- that it exists only to split up assets.
Last week, while seated in a local coffee shop one of our staffers asked 3 of her closest friends, who are all in upper executive positions in mid-size financial and insurance agencies in Midtown (2 of them are married, one of which has a prenup, and the 3rd says she can’t imagine why she wouldn’t), what they first think of a relationship where the partners decide upon a prenuptial agreement. Not what they think of prenups in general, or for themselves, what they would think of the relationship. They were obliging and answered with candor. Mature. Realistic. Pragmatic. Open. Honest. Smart.
The mature, realistic, and honest relationship is usually the lasting one.
Therein lies the irony- that having a prenup actually lends credence to the relationship and solidifies the couple as a serious partnership, rather than the view that tends to trump most opinions on the topic- that a prenup means you are not sure about your marriage.
The fact is that it is easier to discuss financial topics when you are blissfully happy, in love, and preparing in a hopeful way for your future. It can be a wonderful opportunity.
Prenups address not only assets, but also something we don’t like to talk about in our culture because of taboos about money: debt. If one of the 2 parties, or both, have significant debt, you’re going to want to discuss what will happen to that debt in the event of a split. Think about the statement that that would make. Imagine you are a 32 year old woman going into a relationship. You are educated, well into a successful career bringing in a healthy salary and you are proud of what you have accomplished independently. By telling your soon-to-be hubby that you agree to keep the student debt that you accrued 10 years ago, and will be paying off for another 15, you are also making a statement about your independence and essentially, your self-respect.
In exponentially increasing numbers, people from all backgrounds and circumstances are opting in for prenuptial agreements. And, in the same vein, the trend is also for more and more people to purchase legal advice and documents online, from a lawyer with whom they communicate virtually. It is the way of the world now. A basic document that can be prepared quickly and painlessly can outline what you need to ensure there are no messy financial entanglements in the marriage, and it gives you a wonderful opportunity- to start your marriage free from the issue that is the #1 relationship killer- financial problems.
A prenup can always be altered in the form of a postnuptial agreement if you change your mind about things, or if circumstances change.
What many people fail to realize is that a prenup also outlines, if you so choose, what religion you will raise children in, and how you will spend holidays and vacations. If you are married and reading this, you will know the value of that. If you are not married yet, ask a married friend about holiday time sharing stress- visiting in-laws, and who is hosting, where you will go on vacation, and how much money to spend each year on vacation, if any, are the most difficult issues on a relationship. Eliminate all of that stress by putting it down in writing, and you will never have to argue; you already worked out the hardest aspects of your marriage, and now because of your prenuptial agreement, you have a better chance at a healthy, happy and successful marriage.
It doesn’t require or ask for any fanfare. We know your relationship is one that will last; that you and your partner are honest and forthright. Pick your favorite coffee spot in Midtown, and from there, email NYC Prenup attorneys, and create your prenuptial agreement today.