To Prenupt, Or Not To Prenupt

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Five questions divorce experts say couples need to discuss before saying “I Do”.

One of the largest divorce firms on the East Coast, Rosen Law Firm, says couples tying the knot in the upcoming months must be certain they know what each other’s beliefs are about property and other assets. Couples should discuss all different kinds of things and prenuptial agreements are just one of them.

“Prenuptial agreements can take a toll on any relationship,” says Lee Rosen, president of Rosen Law Firm and a board certified family law specialist. “Couples planning on getting married in the next few months really need to sit down and decide whether this is a good thing for them.”

When contemplating whether a prenuptial agreement is suitable for their situation, couples should consider the following questions:

1) Do I have any substantial assets that I would like to protect, i.e. a house purchased before the marriage, a business, retirement, life insurance, and/or inheritance?

2) Have I designated all the beneficiaries on my accounts properly and will marriage force me to change that?

3) Have I been divorced in the past? Do I or my spouse have children from a previous marriage?

4) Do my partner and I have some unresolved issues and/or argue about finances?

5) Do we really need a prenuptial agreement? It might cause arguments in a marriage or an unequal relationship that didn’t exist while dating.

Certain couples may find prenuptial agreements more advantageous, such as older couples marrying for the second time who have a lot of assets already. Younger couples may not be interested in signing such a binding document so early in their life.

“For a healthy marriage, couples need to integrate all their resources, including finances, or else one spouse has an unequal balance of power,” says Janet Fritts, an attorney with Rosen Law Firm. “I rarely recommend a prenuptial agreement, but depending on the situation in some cases it might be appropriate.”

Different states have different laws regarding how prenuptial agreements are construed, so if a couple signs a prenuptial agreement in one state and moves to another state, the agreement might not be interpreted the same.

“Over the years I’ve worked with some clients who had prenuptial agreements, but I think they are generally ineffective-- they are at the most only a partial solution to disputes over assets during a divorce,” says Rosen. “And it’s like going into something planning for a way out from the beginning, but in some cases a prenuptial agreement may be the only way someone will feel comfortable marrying, especially for a second time.”

Attorneys at Rosen suggest those choosing to do a prenuptial agreement limit it in scope and duration, i.e. for 3 years involving just a few assets. They also suggest prior to executing the agreement to have a full and complete disclosure of all assets. Both parties executing the prenuptial agreement should also have their own separate legal representation, and it should be executed far enough in advance of the wedding, so that neither party can claim they signed it under undue pressure.

With offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Chapel Hill, Rosen Law Firm is one of the largest divorce firms on the East Coast. Founded in 1990, the firm is dedicated to providing individual growth and support to couples seeking divorce by helping them move forward with their lives. Our staff of attorneys, accountants, and specially trained divorce coaches expertly address the complex issues of ending a marriage. Our innovative approach acknowledges that divorce is so much more than just a legal matter. Practice areas include child custody, alimony, property distribution, separation agreements, and domestic violence relief.

For more information on Rosen Law Firm please contact: Alison Kramer, Director of Marketing & PR, Office: 919-256-1542, Cell: 919-523-7104

ROSEN LAW FIRM

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500

Raleigh, NC 27607

“Divorce is Different Here”

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Alison Kramer