So, you are one of the many Massachusetts residents that opt to sign a prenuptial agreement each year. After the initial challenge of discussing the matter with your partner and perhaps getting them to agree, you are probably now wondering what to include in your prenup.
According to the American Bar Association, a good starting point is not the prenup itself but each other’s financial situation. The ABA specifically recommends taking a look at your partner’s credit reports. Both partners should also make a list of all their assets and all their debts.
Once you have a better idea of their spending and debt accruing habits, you may then make a decision about whether the agreement will eventually expire, and if so, whether or not there will be a negotiation period. Another important consideration is whether or not you plan to maintain separate ownership of assets and debt throughout the marriage, or whether or not some of these will be owned jointly.
All that said, here are some of the top things you may want to include in your prenuptial agreement:
- In the case of a divorce, is the breadwinner open to spousal support? If so, how much and for how long?
- If one party owes child support from a previous relationship, what assets will be used to pay for this?
- If only one party expects to maintain a full-time job, how will you handle retirement funding?
- If one person repays the other’s debt, how will they be reimbursed in the event of a divorce?
- Will both parties take on new credit obligations or will you do so separately?
- Who will be responsible for the mortgage or rent and utility bills?
These are just a few of the many questions couples may want to address when creating a prenuptial agreement. In fact, virtually anything can be added to a prenuptial agreement, including how household chores are divided, or even how many children are planned for the marriage.
Because of the wide possibilities, it is important to focus on addressing the issues you believe are most likely to present a problem or require a peaceful solution before it even arises. This will require honesty, openness and a great deal of thought.
This article provides information on some of the many considerations that may be included in a prenuptial agreement. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.