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Do I Need a Prenup?

The days leading up to your wedding are full of excitement and promise, and there are so many things to plan--- from the flowers to the cake, ending with that tropical honeymoon destination. But in the midst of all the romantic details, many couples overlook an important part of wedding planning-- the prenuptial agreement.

While prenuptial agreements often have a negative connotation that is decidedly unromantic, their practical value cannot be overstated. Having a prenuptial, or antenuptial, agreement in place can give you peace of mind and assurance that what you bring to the marriage will be protected in the event of divorce.

A prenuptial agreement is only worthwhile if it is enforceable. To provide real protection for the future spouses, each should hire independent counsel. The enforceability of an agreement may hinge on both sides having an attorney, and prevent future claims of duress or lack of disclosure. A competent family law attorney will assist in negotiating the agreement, and will ensure that none of the details as to your respective assets are overlooked.

The conversation that begins the drafting process of your prenuptial agreement should always begin with a full and fair disclosure of each future spouse's assets and liabilities, as well as any future expected income. This will help manage expectations and give each party a realistic understanding of what each brings to the marriage. The more complete the disclosure, the more likely the agreement will stand up to scrutiny in the future.

Timing is important when preparing a prenuptial agreement-- the time for signing is not after toasts at the rehearsal dinner. Each future spouse should have adequate opportunity to review the agreement and consult with their counsel as to their rights and responsibilities. It will also allow time to make revisions, if any are warranted. Plan on having your agreement drafted and signed at least a month before your wedding ceremony, to allow each future spouse a fair opportunity to review it.

When contemplating marriage, there are many important conversations to be had with your future spouse. Open communication is key to the success of any relationship, and discussing a prenuptial agreement is simply another aspect of your financial plan. Even if you don't think that you have assets that are significant enough to warrant a prenuptial agreement, it's crucial to consider how a divorce might impact your finances. Call 904-608-3694 to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can assist with drafting a prenuptial agreement that will give you peace of mind as you prepare for your wedding day.

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