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4 Tips For Writing A Prenuptial Agreement

by Marie Caldwell

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement that states guidelines for how your money and assets are handled during a divorce. If you have a large amount of assets before you get married, you can have stipulations that state your spouse would not receive half of those assets should you get divorced. If you need to write up a prenup before marriage, here are some guidelines to follow.

Be Honest About What Assets You Have

For the most successful prenuptial agreement, you will need to be honest and upfront about all of your assets. This includes looking through your tax returns for proper balances, seeing your expenses and debt, and looking at your income. Any property you own also needs to be noted on balance sheets before you write up the prenuptial agreement. Your assets and property will be itemized before you continue drafting the prenup.

Detail What Property Was Acquired Before the Relationship

The next thing you need to do is go down that itemized list and make a note of what assets were acquired before the relationship or marriage, and what you already considered communal property. If after two years of dating, you both purchased a condo together, that condo is going to be considered community property since you co-own it. On the other hand, if you owned a vehicle before you ever got into the relationship, then that is your property alone.

Write Down Provisions

Another thing you want to include in the prenup is what each spouse will receive if you get a divorce. This is up to you and your spouse, and may be based on who has what property or assets prior to marriage. If you are the person who has the majority of the assets, you might want to include something in the prenuptial agreement that says your spouse would get a specific piece of property or percentage of your assets. Work together with your lawyer to decide what is best.

Schedule a Date to Sign the Prenup

Make sure you schedule a date before the wedding to sign the prenup. Do not wait until the last minute, or you risk not getting it signed before you get married. Your lawyer will likely advise you to sign it at least a month before the wedding. Leave enough time to look over the prenup with your fiancé and to make any provisions as necessary before completing the final agreement.