3 Tips for Creating a Pre-Nup

No one enters into a marriage with the intention of having the union end in divorce, but it's important that you take the time to think about how your personal and financial future would be impacted in the event that a divorce did occur. Talking about a pre-nuptial agreement can seem daunting for some couples, but establishing some boundaries prior to the marriage can help you feel more secure.

Here are three tips you can use to help you and your future spouse create a pre-nup prior to your wedding.

1. Hire separate attorneys.

Since a pre-nup represents a legally binding contract, it's important that you have the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney while drafting this agreement. To ensure that both of your rights are protected, experts suggest that you and your spouse hire separate attorneys when creating a pre-nup.

Your attorney will be able to advise you as to the types of issues you could face during a divorce and devise a game plan that will allow you to avoid serious financial hardship in the event that your marriage dissolves in the future. Having separate attorneys provides a buffer between you and your future spouse, which can make it easier to resolve differences of opinion when drafting a pre-nup.

2. Start early.

The average length of an engagement in the United States is 14 months. As soon as you become engaged, you should begin drafting a pre-nup agreement. This ensures that you and your future spouse will have enough time to thoroughly discuss important matters and that you will be able to obtain the documentation needed to verify the financial holdings you will be bringing into the marriage.

Waiting until late in the engagement to begin thinking about a pre-nup could result in a court of law feeling the agreement was signed under duress and potentially lead to the agreement being considered invalid during a divorce.

3. Educate yourself.

Taking the time to learn the types of things that can and cannot be included in your pre-nup agreement could help you avoid potential arguments with your spouse in the future.

Knowing that you can't include stipulations regarding personal appearance, frequency of sexual intercourse, and custody or visitation limitations regarding future children will help you avoid the temptation to bring these topics up during the negotiation of your pre-nup agreement.

Having a pre-nup in place prior to your marriage ensures that you will be financially protected in the event of a divorce. Take the time to hire separate attorneys, start drafting your agreement early, and educate yourself on allowable stipulations to ensure your pre-nup planning goes smoothly.