What Should Your Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

Marriage is not only a public statement of a couple’s emotional commitment, but a powerful legal and economic relationship. At CT Mediation Center, we believe prenuptial agreements are a tool for money management and financial planning—not a blueprint for divorce. This is Part 4 in a series on prenuptial agreements.

Marriage is not only a public statement of a couple’s emotional commitment, but a powerful legal and economic relationship. At CT Mediation Center, we believe prenuptial agreements are a tool for money management and financial planning—not a blueprint for divorce. This is Part 4 in a series on prenuptial agreements.

You’re getting married, congratulations. Now you are taking the next big step: Preparing a prenuptial agreement. Congratulations, again. A prenuptial agreement is an excellent financial planning tool and having one in place can actually strengthen your relationship.

Contrary to popular opinion, prenuptial agreements are not just for wealthy couples. That raises the question, what should your prenuptial agreement cover? The answer is simple: whatever you want it to—with a few exceptions.

A prenuptial agreement is simply a roadmap to follow if your marriage ends in divorce. It is there to protect the rights of two people before they become an integrated whole. Your prenuptial agreement determines how you will split your finances. It also covers specific provisions that are unique to your situation.

Your prenuptial agreement is a contract that is researched, written, and signed before the marriage takes place; ideally, at least 6 months before you get married. Having  a prenuptial agreement can actually strengthen your relationship, because one of the hot topics—managing money and the underlying issue of yours/mine/ours—has been resolved before you say I DO.

 

Your prenuptial agreement can cover:

  • Division of property
  • Ownership of marital residence
  • Responsibility of premarital debts
  • Distribution of property upon death (in some instances, a prenuptial agreement supersedes your will)
  • Alimony obligations (with some exceptions, see below)
  • Financial responsibilities during the marriage
  • How disputes will be resolved (i.e., through mediation or arbitration)
  • Sunset clause (you can stipulate that the prenuptial agreement becomes null and void if you remain married a certain number of years)

If you live in Connecticut, there is one more reason why you should consider a prenuptial agreement. Unlike other states, Connecticut is an “all property” state. That makes the division of assets more complex than you might otherwise expect. A prenuptial agreement is one way to protect yourself and your financial future. An attorney at CT Mediation Center can help you successfully navigate the process.

 

Your Prenuptial Agreement Can NOT cover

While a prenuptial agreement is designed to cover a broad range of needs, there are several exclusions. These include: 

  • Alimony (while you can specify this in the prenuptial agreement, courts can also invalidate the provision if the judge believes it to be unjust.)
  • Child custody (including stipulations as they relate to religious training and schooling)
  • Child visitation rights and child support
  • Stipulations that are illegal, unconscionable, or grossly unfair

 

You, Your Prenuptial Agreement and CT Mediation Center

Your marriage is a legally binding contract; so is your prenuptial agreement. The prenuptial agreement governs, in part, how your marriage will be dissolved. You can save yourself time, heartache and unnecessary legal fees by working with an attorney at CT Mediation Center. We’ll make certain your prenuptial agreement is legally valid, by avoiding these all-too common pitfalls:

  • Not properly executed. Both parties must sign the prenuptial agreement before the wedding in order for the contract to be considered valid.
  • It includes false or incomplete information. A prenuptial agreement is only valid when both parties fully disclose their income, assets, and liabilities. If one of you is lying, the agreement is invalid.
  • Your prenuptial agreement is inherently illegal, unconscionable, or grossly unfair. Yes, you can stipulate and concede a great many things. But that doesn’t make your prenuptial agreement enforceable. If your agreement is so grossly unfair that one of you would face severe financial hardship while the other one prospered, most courts are unlikely to enforce it.

An additional benefit of working with CT Mediation Center on your prenuptial agreement is our emphasis on mediated agreements. Our attorneys work with you and your future spouse to guide you through the decision making process in a way that each of you comes feeling confident that your best interests have been considered and worked into the final prenuptial agreement.

If you would like to discuss how to prepare your prenuptial agreement, an attorney at CT Mediation Center can help. Please callus today at (860) 986-1141 to schedule an appointment today.


Learn More

To learn more about how divorce mediation can help your case, contact any of our Divorce Attorney Mediators or Certified Divorce Financial Analysts at CT Divorce Mediation Centers. Divorce and Family Mediation and Collaborative Law are all we do. We have offices in Madison, New Haven, Cheshire, West Hartford, Glastonbury, West Hartford, and Windsor, CT. To find out more information or to schedule a consultation with our divorce experts, call us at (860) 986-1141.

DISCLAIMER:This publication is not meant to constitute legal, accounting, financial, investment advisory, or other professional advice. If legal, financial, investment advisory or other professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person such as CT Divorce Mediation center, should be sought.

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