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Tag: antenuptial agreements

Are prenuptial agreements used only to avoid divorce settlements?

Are prenuptial agreements used only to avoid divorce settlements?

Prenuptial agreements are used primarily to avoid the expense, the misery, and the waste of time divorce actions can (and usually do) cause by agreeing in advance what the separate property and debts of the parties is now (so that there will be no confusion or argument over ownership and liability after marriage), what property and earnings acquired during the marriage will be considered separate property (instead of automatically being marital property, as it would be in the absence of a prenuptial agreement) in the event of divorce or death.

I generally dislike prenuptial agreements between young, penniless couples who wed for the first (and, it is hoped, the last) time because a prenuptial agreement in such circumstances sends the wrong message, i.e., “I don’t have faith our marriage will last, so I have an exit plan in mind already!” But for people who are already divorced or widows/widowers, a prenuptial agreement is not only a good idea but may be necessary to ensure that your property goes to your chosen heirs and not in full or in part to your new spouse.

Depending on jurisdiction, prenuptial agreements can address and resolve in advance the issues of alimony and child custody and support. Some states allow a couple to address and resolve these issues contractually between themselves, other jurisdictions provide that a court has the ultimate discretion over the resolution of such issues, even if a prenuptial agreement provides differently from what the court rules.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Are-prenuptial-agreements-used-only-to-avoid-divorce-settlements/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Would/did you sign a prenup when you got married?

I did not.

I generally do not favor young couples marrying for the first time making and signing prenuptial agreements.

Here is why:

Does signing a prenup change the relationship between a couple?

What is the easiest way to convince your fiancé to agree a prenup?

Would most people who are planning to get married do better if they got a prenup?

Is it necessary to ask your other partner to sign a prenup if you want your property to solely belong to you only?

Does it affect a relationship if just before marriage, your partner and a lawyer bring you papers to sign a prenupcial agreement? What would you do?

Do you believe a prenuptial agreement and real love between two people are mutually exclusive?

Do regular people who earn average incomes sign prenuptial agreements?

Can a prenup dictate that a reflection time is required before divorce?

Why would anyone go into marriage without a prenup?

How do people generally react if asked to sign a prenuptial agreement?

Why are prenuptial agreements not required for all marriages prior to getting a marriage license since divorces are about dividing assets and determining child custody/support? Wouldn’t this help make divorces easier and help avoid doomed marriages?

Does having a prenup demonstrate lack of trust in your future marriage?

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Would-did-you-sign-a-prenup-when-you-got-married/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Are a prenuptial agreement and real love mutually exclusive?

Do you believe a prenuptial agreement and real love between two people are mutually exclusive?

Kind of.

And for the obvious reason implicit in the question: what kind of chance does a marriage have, if the couple has already planned an exit strategy? In that respect and to that extent, a prenuptial agreement and real love between two people are undeniably somewhat mutually exclusive. Success is unattainable without the risk of failure.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Do-you-believe-a-prenuptial-agreement-and-real-love-between-two-people-are-mutually-exclusive/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Do regular people who earn average incomes sign prenuptial agreements?

Pros and Cons: Prenuptial Agreements

Pros of Prenuptial Agreements

  • A premarital agreement can protect the inheritance rights of children and grandchildren from a previous marriage.
  • If you have your own business or professional practice, a premarital agreement can protect that interest so that the business or practice is not divided and subject to the control or involvement of your former spouse upon divorce.
  • If one spouse has significantly more debt than the other, a premarital agreement can protect the debt-free spouse from having to assume the obligations of the other.
  • If you plan to give up a lucrative career after the marriage, a premarital agreement can ensure that you will be compensated for that sacrifice if the marriage does not last.
  • A premarital agreement can address more than the financial aspects of marriage, and can cover any of the details of decision-making and responsibility sharing to which the parties agree in advance.
  • A premarital agreement can limit the amount of spousal support that one spouse will have to pay the other upon divorce.
  • A premarital agreement can protect the financial interests of older persons, persons who are entering into second or subsequent marriages, and persons with substantial wealth.

Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

  • The agreement may require you to give up your right to inherit from your spouse’s estate when he or she dies. Under the law, you are entitled to a portion of the estate even if your spouse does not include such a provision in his or her will.
  • If you contribute to the continuing success and growth of your spouse’s business or professional practice by entertaining clients or taking care of the home, you may not be entitled to claim a share of the increase in value if you agree otherwise in a premarital agreement. Under the laws of many states, this increase in value would be considered divisible marital property.
  • Starting a relationship with a contract that sets forth the particulars of what will happen upon death or divorce can engender a sense of lack of trust.
  • It can be difficult to project into the future about how potential issues should be handled, and what may seem like an inconsequential compromise in the romantic premarital period may seem more monumental and burdensome later on.
  • A low- or non-wage-earning spouse may not be able to sustain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed during the marriage if the agreement substantially limits the amount of spousal support to which that spouse is entitled.
  • In the “honeymoon” stage of a relationship, one spouse may agree to terms that are not in his or her best interests because he or she is “too in love” to be concerned about the financial aspects and can’t imagine the union coming to an untimely end.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Do-regular-people-who-earn-average-incomes-sign-prenuptial-agreements/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Why would anyone go into marriage without a prenup?

In some cases a prenuptial agreement may be wise (older people who want to protect their sizeable assets and/or ensure their children inherit them, rich people who need protection from gold diggers), but usually not for a young couple where neither of them has been married/divorced before.

Why? Because entering into a prenuptial agreement before marriage is effectively stating, “I’m not committed to this marriage, and so I want to have a clear exit strategy in place beforehand.”

A marriage is forever, not something from which you should ever want to exit before death. You can’t fully commit to a marriage and family (nor can your spouse) if you and your spouse have “planned for” divorce. Even if “I’m planning for or on divorce” is not the message you want to send with a prenuptial agreement, it’s an impression a prenuptial agreement cannot avoid giving. That that is why many people are so opposed to a prenuptial agreement (and I am one of those people).

“. . . to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.” You can’t make those kinds of vows while crossing your fingers behind your back. A prenuptial agreement is a hedge against commitment, and a successful marriage depends on total commitment.

“You can not let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgment stop you from doing the things that will make you* great. You can not succeed without the risk of failure. You can not have a voice without the risk of criticism. You can not love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.” – Charlie Day (2014 Merrimack College commencement speech)

*or your marriage

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Why-would-anyone-go-into-marriage-without-a-prenup/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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How can someone prove that a pre/post-nuptial agreement was forced upon them by the other spouse?

Easier than you might think (but by no means guaranteed).

Courts are inclined to believe certain claims; namely (and I’m going to be honest with you here, not politically correct):

  1. a woman’s claim that she was coerced into signing. Men can claim they were coerced too, of course, but it’s still much easier in today’s culture to believe a woman was physically threatened/intimidated;
  2. a woman’s claim that she was fooled/deceived into signing. Men can claim they were deceived too, of course, but it’s it’s still much easier in today’s culture to believe a woman was less worldly wise and lacks the business/legal savvy a man is assumed to have;
  3. You were given the prenuptial agreement at the 11th hour, just before the wedding. If this actually happened, that’s a pretty good argument (again, this is a story that is generally easier for a woman to sell than it is for a man to sell to the court). The question is what constitutes “the 11th hour”? Hours before the ceremony? Probably. The day before? Probably. A week or so before? Maybe. After the catering and the chapel have been paid for? Maybe. But beyond that? Who knows. It may depend on who your judge is;
  4. Having your fiancé/e sign without the benefit of at least having the opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel of his/her own;

There are other grounds for invalidating a prenuptial agreement (e.g., failure to make a complete disclosure of one’s financial circumstances; making a false disclosure of one’s financial circumstances; unconscionable terms), but your question was what arguments are there for claiming to have been forced to sign.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

How can someone prove that a pre/post-nuptial agreement was forced upon them by the other spouse?

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How do people generally react if asked to sign a prenuptial agreement?

How do people generally react if asked to sign a prenuptial agreement?

More and more the response to a request to sign a prenuptial agreement is a willing one. Because more and more people believe that with the divorce rate so high in this country the idea of marrying without having a plan for what will happen in the event of divorce would be reckless. Such people have a point.

But there are still many instances where a request to sign a prenuptial agreement is met with skepticism or outright suspicion or hostility. I go into more detail as to why in a previous question I answered on Quora:

Eric Johnson’s answer to Why are prenuptial agreements not required for all marriages prior to getting a marriage license since divorces are about dividing assets and determining child custody/support? Wouldn’t this help make divorces easier and help avoid doomed marriages?

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/How-do-people-generally-react-if-asked-to-sign-a-Prenuptial-agreement/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Why are prenuptial agreements not required for all marriages?

They could be, but if they were, what a shame. And here’s why:

(I addressed this in a previous answer I gave on Quora, which you can see either by clicking here or reading it below)

Does having a prenup demonstrate lack of trust in your future marriage?

Of course, even if that is not the intent of wanting a prenuptial agreement.

The reason is clear: because 1) marriage is intended to last a lifetime; and 2) a prenuptial agreement (also called a “premarital agreement”) is an agreement made in anticipation of a possible divorce, a prenuptial agreement inexorably has the effect of planting seeds of doubt about the viability of the marriage. That’s no way to start a lifetime endeavor. A prenuptial agreement is unavoidable evidence (not proof, but evidence) that neither party is truly, fully committed to the marriage.

I am a divorce lawyer who is happily married and who, God willing, will stay married. I believe in marriage. I don’t want to see people divorce unless they must. Which is why I discourage most people from getting prenuptial agreements. I make money when people ask me to prepare a prenuptial agreement. But just because I make money when I prepare prenuptial agreements doesn’t make prenuptial agreements good for the clients.

This does not mean that no one should ever contemplate, let alone sign, a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements may be warranted or even necessary in certain situations (for example: the super rich, people who are remarrying after a divorce or after the death of a spouse, to name a few).

A big problem with prenuptial agreements is that lawyers push them on people who don’t need them, so that the lawyers can make money preparing unneeded prenuptial agreements.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-prenuptial-agreements-not-required-for-all-marriages-prior-to-getting-a-marriage-license-since-divorces-are-about-dividing-assets-and-determining-child-custody-support-Wouldnt-this-help-make-divorces-easier/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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