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What's the best way to tackle a prenuptial agreement?

Relying on expert advice and being reasonable can make the process easier

No matter how often couples are told that a prenuptial agreement is merely a financial tool and not a judgment on the state of their relationship, far too many people hold on to old prejudices about such agreements being unromantic and even taboo. Yet, as USA Today recently pointed out, prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly useful for all types of marriages, not just those involving significant assets or businesses. Since these agreements are so useful, it is important for couples to understand how to approach them to ensure both marital and financial success.

Getting over old ideas

The most important first step couples can take is getting over the notion that having a prenuptial agreement is somehow a reflection of the quality of their marriage. A prenuptial agreement is not a predictor of divorce and the hope is that the agreement itself will never have to be used, but it is also important, given how costly divorce can become, for couples to always prepare for all circumstances.

Some experts even point out that with studies showing financial disagreements are a major cause of divorce, prenuptial agreements could even strengthen some marriages. By being forced to talk about attitudes towards money early on, couples can prevent minor disagreements about finances from festering into major issues years into the marriage.

Being fair and reasonable

Once couples have taken the step of actually agreeing to draft a prenuptial agreement, they must then decide what shape they want the agreement to take. According to the Huffington Post, couples should try to be fair and reasonable throughout the process. Trying to hold on to too much or, conversely, being too generous, can result not only in a financially risky position, but in an agreement that will have a much harder time being held up in court.

Neutral third-party advice is often the key to drafting an agreement that protects both a marriage and each spouse's financial position. Financial advisers and family law attorneys for each spouse are the most obvious and important experts to consult when writing up a prenuptial agreement, but other parties, such as therapists and counselors, can help ensure couples confront some of the more awkward issues raised by a prenuptial agreement without it threatening their relationship.

Legal advice

As mentioned above, expert advice is crucial when drafting a prenuptial agreement that is both fair and enforceable. Couples who are interested in a prenuptial agreement or need to revisit an agreement already in place should contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss whatever questions and concerns they may have.