Prenuptial Agreements – Tips and Traps
Sheryl A. Moore, Esquire
Moore Rabinowitz Law
1776 North Pine Island Road, Suite 102
Plantation, FL 33322
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into prior to marriage dictating how you and your spouse will divide your estate and financially support, or not support, each other when your marriage ends in divorce and/or death. Arguably, a prenuptial agreement is the single most important agreement you will ever sign in your lifetime. Here is some basic advice:
Discuss the agreement with your soon-to-be spouse. A big mistake couples make is that they do not discuss the agreement with each other, but rather only with their attorney. You and your mate should have an open discussion about how you each want to be financially treated during your marriage and at the end of your marriage.
Do not wait until the last minute. Prenuptial Agreements are binding contracts. These agreements can be complicated. It takes time to gather financial disclosure, draft, negotiate, re-draft, ponder, re-negotiate, and ultimately sign one.
Negotiate. Do not sign the first offer. These agreements can seriously abrogate your legal rights. Negotiate the terms with confidence, kindness, and clarity.
Be Creative. Ask about sunset clauses, explore life insurance, include annuity mandates.
Do not waive financial disclosure. It is your right to receive full financial disclosure before negotiating terms. Ask for and review tax returns, financials, net worth statements, etc.
Prepare yourself to walk away. Sometimes parties walk away from the idea of having a prenuptial agreement at all. Sometimes one party walks away from the marriage. Notice how the other party negotiates. Are they calm and kind? Are they rigid and perhaps downright mean? Is the person on the other side of the table someone you would be proud to call your partner?
Hire a great attorney who cares. Consult with at least 3 attorneys. Hire the one you like the best.