When two people decide to get married, it's a big step. Typically, finances are combined and two incomes become one. Essentially, two lives are fused. But when a marriage ends, complications can arise.
That's why people enter into premarital agreements. But it's extremely important that they are drafted and carried out fairly. Otherwise, distribution of assets after a divorce can be lopsided.
One expert, writing for the Huffington Post, explains how prenuptial agreements can be beneficial. He says such agreements are meant to protect people in the event a marriage collapses or someone dies. It can help people avoid future litigation, which can be helpful.
Unfortunately, such agreements are not as useful or fair when they are entered into during high-pressure situations. If decisions are made hastily, it can lead to problems. Another poor idea, the expert says, is presenting a premarital agreement to a bride or groom-to-be less than a week before the wedding. With so many decisions to think about, it's possible they won't ponder it clearly.
According to the Huffington Post, an experienced family law attorney can help a couple sort out details of a premarital agreement. It's also helpful if both sides can be fair and leave some room for negotiation. Another good idea might be to have provisions allowing the agreement to be revised if a situation changes.
And, last but not least, discussing a prenuptial agreement months in advance, and not the week of the wedding, will be beneficial to everyone.
Source: Huffington Post, "Prenuptial agreements: The good, the bad and the ugly," Henry Gornbein, Nov. 16, 2011