After you say yes, the planning begins and you have many things to consider from bridesmaids’ dresses to chair-covers to venues…I suggest you add one more thing to your list: A Pre-Nuptial Agreement.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not just for rich people. They are for smart people!
Smart people know that not everything works out perfectly, and if things don’t work out in the long run with your marriage, you should endeavor to protect yourself. That is just reality.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement, also known as a “Pre-Nup” for short, is a contract a couple enters into prior to a marriage. The content of the agreement can vary widely, which can include division of property, spousal support in the event of a divorce, or terms of forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce or even death.
Nowadays a lot of people are waiting to get married until they are older, or some are marrying for the second or third time. People that fit into these categories already have accumulated property, cars, retirement accounts, etc. If you do not have a Pre-Nup, the disposition of those things may be decided by a Judge based on the laws of the state or jurisdiction in which they reside. Therefore, having a Pre-Nup allows spouses to retain control over the disposition of their assets and property in the event things do not work out.
Here are some important points to consider when contemplating the preparation and execution of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in Connecticut:
- In the United States, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are recognized in all fifty states, but in Connecticut, Pre-Nuptial agreements are not allowed to regulate issues relating to the children of the marriage, in particular, custody and parental-access issues;
- Among other requirements, all Pre-Nuptial Agreements must be in writing;
- A Pre-Nup must be executed voluntarily and not entered into under any duress;
- Full and fair disclosure at the time of execution of all assets and income of each spouse must be exchanged and is usually appended to the Agreement as Schedules;
- A Pre-Nup cannot be “unconscionable,” meaning that the agreement may not be extremely unjust or favor one party over the other in any way;
- The Pre-Nup must be executed by both parties (not their attorneys) “in the manner required for a deed to be recorded.” This means that the document must be acknowledged before a notary public or Commissioner of the Superior Court ( an attorney in Connecticut);
- Each party to the agreement (each future spouse) must engage their own separate counsel and those two attorneys should work together but protect the individual rights of each spouse in the process;
- No spouse should ever feel pressured into signing this type of agreement, and if both spouses do sign a Pre-Nuptial Agreement prior to marriage, this decision should be completely mutual.
Although commonly overlooked as being a negative aspect in planning a wedding, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are great tools that can be used prior to entering into a marriage to protect each spouse. Overall, a Pre-Nup is a great idea because it simplifies the separation and divorce process, making things much easier for each spouse in the event that occurs.