Prenup etiquette - The basics

In our last post we discussed the potential for the prenuptial agreement signed by former Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones and his wife to be invalidated. Essentially, prenuptial agreements can be challenged (and defeated) through a showing that one party did not fully disclose their assets or if one party was coerced into signing the agreement.

This story led us to the questions of when it is actually right to introduce the prospect of a prenuptial agreement, and who should consider one.

Generally speaking, there is no standard rule regarding the proper time to talk about a prenup. Indeed, it would be in bad taste to introduce it just after a marriage proposal, through a Facebook request, or just before a wedding. Not only are these actions irresponsible, they may exemplify other communication issues that may not be noticed in the relationship.

Also, the topic should be broached in a non-confrontational manner and can used to explore untouched issues regarding money and debt management. You may discover that you are both on the same page regarding financial management, or you may learn that you have very different ideas on how to manage money.

As for people who should consider prenups; again, there is no standard, iron clad rule. People who use them are commonly in their second marriages. They are blending families, assets and incomes and want to devise a plan to protect their new families from the financial obligation of their old ones. However, couples entering their first marriages can create prenups as well.

If you have questions about whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Wife of ex-Brave Andruw Jones files for divorce," Kate Brumback, Jan. 2, 2013

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