How To: Get a prenup before getting married

Get a prenup before getting married

There is a lot of stigma around prenuptial agreements but they can be a good chance to work on difficult issues as a couple and make sure you're on the same page. Prenuptial agreements don't have to be a horrible experience and can give a soon to be married couple some peace of mind.

Since a prenuptial agreement makes you talk about the tough stuff – like who gets what and when – it can really benefit brides- and grooms-to-be.

You Will Need

  * Patience
  * Two lawyers
  * Money
  * Notary public
  * Mediator (optional)

Step 1: Know why you're doing it

Discuss your motives for a prenup with your soon-to-be-spouse, and make sure you both see eye to eye on your reasons.

Step 2: Don't take it personally

If your partner is interested in getting a prenup, try not to take it personally. Prenups have been made by countless couples for countless reasons. Don't let it destroy the magic of your relationship or undermine trust.

Step 3: Plan ahead

Plan ahead. It often takes several months to negotiate the final version of a prenup. The document must be executed before you get married, so give yourself time to get everything in order.

Step 4: Lawyer up

To insure that each of your interests is protected, hire separate lawyers experienced in family or matrimonial law. Two sets of eyes will have a better chance of catching errors. Ask friends for referrals, or consult your state's bar association website.

A prenup must be written, based on full disclosure, signed by both people, totally voluntary, and fair to both parties. If these conditions don't exist, a court can nullify the agreement.

Step 5: Define your terms

A prenup is basically a divorce settlement made before any divorce occurs. Your lawyers or a neutral third party (called a mediator) can help you hammer out your terms, including how your assets will be divided in case of divorce – or even death. Some prenups have a "sunset clause," which invalidates the agreement a

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