The Etiquette of a Pre-nup:                   
                by Susan Polyot

The initial reaction of many people to the
suggestion that they consider a pre-nuptual
agreement is, "Do I really need a prenuptial
agreement?  Won’t the other party think I am
planning on divorce if I want one?"

Anyone planning an encore wedding already knows
that the best plans don’t always end as we had
hoped. You didn’t enter a previous marriage
planning on a divorce. But life events happen and
sometimes result in circumstances we didn’t
predict.  A prenuptial agreement isn’t about
thinking you will get divorced, it is about
protecting assets. There are those who think a
prenup is never a good idea, why enter a marriage
with an out clause?  Whether or not a prenup is for
you is a personal decision.  Often, a prenuptial
agreement protects assets acquired prior to the
marriage, but allows that anything acquired during
the marriage is not part of the prenup. It may only
address portions of assets such as a business
ownership, or inheritance.  A prenuptial agreement
may make sense if one of you has assets far greater
than the other, or if children are involved. A
prenup generally addresses division of assets in the
event of divorce; a will addresses assets in the event
of death.  When deciding if a prenup is appropriate
for your situation, consult your attorney for
guidance.  Have the conversation with your spouse-
to-be early on about your desire for a prenup.  Be
clear that the goal is not to plan for divorce, but
rather to protect both of you in the event divorce
does happen.  No one plans to be divorced when
they enter marriage, but statistics tell us that it is a
reality of many marriages. Ignoring the issue of
assets and divorce will only breed resentment, and
doesn’t contribute to good communication as you
begin your new life together.

You can find other etiquette-related discussions in
the archived editions of encore bride.

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