Part 2 of our answers to some of your recent, or most frequently asked, questions- that may not be answered on our website. @NYCPrenup!
Q: I’ve been watching a lot of Housewives lately… what’s with the idea of a “lifestyle clause”? I know that women are typically against them, but I have also heard - from what the show says- that and more are starting to put their own clauses in prenups? Some of them include rules about staying thin! So, pun intended- what’s the ‘skinny’ on lifestyle clauses; do they exist?
A: The short answer? Yes, the exist... But a lot of things exist, does that make it a good idea, or a good fit for you? Not necessarily. I mean, just because something is POSSIBLE, doesn’t mean ‘Oh yes, you have to do it!’ These things are very complicated, and while the fantasy of giving your husband a $5,000 penalty if he picks up cigar smoking again may feel glamorous in the moment, the reality of the discussion, and then enforcing it, is an entirely other issue altogether. We want to help you in your pre-matrimonial needs and prenup agreement, but we do not like seeing any of you again for divorce proceedings! The prenuptial agreement is not meant to take the place of honest healthy discussion and compromise about topics, and be some kind of strict guidelines to which you both have to adhere (or else! Which means, usually, or else the ‘bad one’ has to pay, literally). No, when it comes to these types of clauses the best policy is to leave them out completely and agree to communicate. Agree to the cliché things that people who have healthy relationships agree work- never going to bed angry, connecting for date night a couple times a month, making sure you talk about making any big changes, decisions and purchases- this sort of thing. But mandating that you get a shopping spree and a personal savings account separate from your partner if he/she gains 30 pounds is a little too calculating and cold even for the likes of matrimonial lawyers. The bottom line is, you have to do what works for you and so for people who have their relationships and interactions broadcast to America every night in syndication may benefit from these sorts of clauses, the average couple does not need them, and in fact those clauses are likely to cause more confusion, pain, and generally hurt feelings than could possibly be worth it. Just talk things out, and while using prenup discussions to talk about certain things can absolutely be a great time to hash out uncomfortable concepts and agreements. Call us sappy or naive, but agreements about being there for each other and loving one another…. Isn’t that what the vows are for?
Q: We each have kids now, but also plan on possibly having one or two more. What should we include about our children with former partners, and our eventual/hypothetical children?
You can use a prenup to contain clauses about many things, but not things relating to children in the event of a split. Typically the clauses pertaining to children- custody, child support and visitation- are not covered in a prenup. The reasons are several, and can vary from state to state. For example, if you are in California, nothing about custody of visitation can be included in the agreement whatsoever. So the answer is: It varies, but little to nothing about children need be added to the prenup.
Q: Ok! We’re all set; we’ve drafted and finalized our prenup with our qualified, helpful NYC Prenup attorneys and it just came in the mail. Signed, sealed, delivered. Now what?
A: Put it in your home office filing cabinet, and forget about it! Get back to the important stuff- wedding planning and gown fittings and planning that bachelor party you swore you’d never have on a golf course that is now…on a golf course.
We at NYC Prenup cannot wait to get started helping you create your document, email us today!