If you’re debating whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot, some advice from financial expert Suze Orman may be helpful. She’s all in favor of couples getting a prenup even if they aren’t going in to a marriage with a lot of money.
Orman notes that you never know what the future holds. She says, “I was a waitress until I was 30…making $400 a month — and look at me today.”
In community property states like Texas, both assets and debt acquired by either spouse during the marriage can be subject to a 50-50 division in divorce, regardless of who was responsible for those assets or debt. Even opening a bank account in one name or putting a single name on the mortgage doesn’t protect it from becoming community property. A prenup can stipulate how the two of you will divide assets and debts in the event of a divorce.
Orman says that many couples dread the talk about finances and their attitudes toward money, saving and spending that drawing up a prenup necessitates. However, she notes, “If you cannot talk money to the person that you are about to marry, you are doomed for failure because money is going to run through your relationship more than anything else.”
It’s important not to rush through the process of drawing up the prenup, including the conversations about your finances. No one should ever feel that they were pressured or rushed in to signing a prenup or that they didn’t fully understand what they were signing.
That’s one reason why both partners should have their own family law attorney when drafting a prenup. Your attorney can not only help you advocate for your interests, they can explain any terms or provisions you might not understand.
Orman also recommends that both partners make at least some revisions — even minor changes in wording – – to the prenup draft. This makes it harder for them to say later that it’s not valid because they didn’t comprehend what they were agreeing to or were given no role in the process.
By having an experienced family law attorney as you develop your prenup, you also help ensure that it adheres to state laws. This can further help it hold up in court — if you even need it to.