Ask Leslie: Are prenups only for the rich and can I make it work for me?

prenup_not_only_for_the_rich_leslie_montanile

DEAR LESLIE, 

Are prenuptial agreements only for the rich? My boyfriend and I both earn average salaries, however, we are trying to find ways to keep our finances as separate as possible before marrying. Is a prenup worth it?  

–  Agreementseeker

Dear Agreementseeker…,

While so many couples consider tying the knot, the fear of joining together financially has kept the multitude from taking a leap of faith and a trip down the aisle.

The Prenuptial agreement (also known as an ante-nuptial or premarital agreement) is an excellent tool for those couples who want to commit emotionally and not financially. While often thought of only for the wealthy, the prenuptial has a place in any relationship that wishes to keep premarital assets separate. In fact, millennials, have found refuge in the prenuptial agreement, driving a 62% spike in prenup requests, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Regardless of the size of your salary or savings or assets owned, a simple agreement between partners defining separate ownership before legalizing your union can alleviate the stress and anxiety that has prevented so many from the joys of marital bliss.

These agreements can also be tailored to your specific needs and wishes. For example, you and your partner may agree that should your marriage make the 10th wedding anniversary (or whichever milestone of your preference), a clause could be established that would essentially fade out the agreement as time progresses. This is known as a Sunset Clause. Alternatively, a prenuptial agreement can also secure future assets as well if planned accordingly. Many variables can be addressed based on your circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep what you have worked for as your own and building something new with the one you love. Since these agreements need to be formalized to be enforced, it would be best to employ a lawyer with expertise in this area. Once the agreement is in place, you and your partner can truly enjoy each other and build the relationship you desire.

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