To prenup or not to prenup? That is the question! Wedding planning is full of SO many incredible moments and exciting decisions – which photographer will you pick? What about your menu? But, there’s also some really difficult moments that happen between you, your spouse, and your lawyer. Today, we’re talking about if you should have a prenup agreement in place before your wedding day! Thanks to Attorney Dadriana Lepore of Coia & Lepore, we’re diving into the ins and outs of prenup agreements and some practical tips when it comes to deciding what you want to do! We’ve known Dadriana for many years and photographed both her and her brother’s weddings! So we’re thrilled she’s helping us today.
I’m a Rhode Island girl, lawyer, and mother. Currently, I practice family court law and am a professor at RWU Law. I focus on pre-marriage planning (prenups), marital dissolution (divorce), custody disputes, mediation, child support and adoption.
Premarital agreements: another part of wedding planning! What are they and what’s their purpose?
So a Premarital Agreement is another type of contract between two people. Sometimes it’s referred to as a prenup or an anti-nuptial and is generally done before you’re married. Prenups go over how you want your assets and liabilities to be disposed of if you got divorced, or if someone died. Basically, you’re talking about the money you have, personal property, debts, student loans, and things like that. It’s also a place to discuss what happens with your assets and debt if you were to be divorced. It’s important to understand that what happens with your children isn’t part of a prenup – that’s a will.
What comprises a prenup exactly? Give us the details!
Your prenup should really focus on what you feel should remain ALL yours if something changes in your marriage. Most prenups focus on money related items like bank accounts, credit cards, trusts, and inheritances for that reason. You can also include real estate (anything done before your marriage only), family heirlooms, and debts. With debts, you want to think of it as protection – if you divorce, only the person who ran those debts keeps them type thing!
A few other tips about when and how to do a prenup agreement… Your prenup should be done about 6-9 months before your wedding and usually recommend each party has their own lawyer too. Make sure you’ve collected all of your financial information and both parties are okay with the idea. No one should be forced into signing a prenup agreement!
Okay, so let’s get real. Why should you do a prenup? And why shouldn’t you?
Prenups are a way to protect yourself financially during a marriage. Not only do they protect you if there’s certain things you’ve accumulated before your marriage that you want to stay just yours – but they also protect you against debts. Honestly, that’s a huge reason to consider one – if your soon-to-be spouse has a lot of debt, you can ensure you’re not responsible for it if something happens.
Obviously, some barriers to prenup agreements are legal costs and a reminder that nothing is 100% guaranteed. Prenups can still be contested later on in life, but it should help you plan things out a little bit easier!
Why are prenup agreements on the rise?
I honestly think it’s just a sign of the times! Millennials are getting married later in life, after they’ve accumulated more money on their own, real estate, and other assets. Like we’ve said, it’s a way to protect some of that! Additionally, we’re seeing more people re-marry after a divorce and who are products of divorced households. Understandably, they also want to protect themselves.
How do you approach your significant other about a pre-nup?
It’s a HARD conversation to have, but it’s important if it’s something that matters to you. I suggest you approach it with the understanding of what a prenup really is (and what it’s not) and WHY you want one. Being able to explain what you’re thinking will hopefully help. So many people used to think that a prenup meant you’d get divorced – but that’s not the case. It’s just a way to take care of yourself and your assets or maybe its to protect your spouse from your own debt.
Wrap Up Question!
What are some key points that couples should be asking thinking about when they are getting married in regards to Premarital Agreements?
-Is there something that is so important to you, something you have earned or achieved that you wouldn’t want your significant other to have – or anyone else for that matter? Think about your first home, major retirement earnings, and so on.
-Is there something about your significant other (or you) that is so concerning that you need to address it? Think about debts, especially!
-Remember… Difficult conversations happen through life- this is only just beginning. This can be such a hard moment for couples – but you have a RIGHT to protect what you’ve built and earned.
Links Mentioned in the Episode
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