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Tips for raising the subject of a prenuptial agreement

Conventional wisdom may offer much advice on the timing of a wedding proposal, but is there a good time to raise the subject of a prenuptial agreement? Our law firm believes that the way in which this topic is raised can be even more important than its timing, provided that the agreement is executed before the marriage ceremony.

Specifically, a premarital agreement doesn’t have to be seen as a lack of confidence in a marriage. Rather, this type of contract can serve a housekeeping function, helping each spouse take an inventory of his or her assets before marriage. In the interest of full disclosure, however, Kentucky courts require that material facts be disclosed before the prenuptial agreement is signed.

Practically every prospective marriage involves property of some type, such as personal possessions, securities, or even real estate. Such assets will then be considered separate from the marital estate, with the possible exception of increases in value for which the other spouse contributed or was partly responsible.

Once the conversation has been opened, we would also recommend talking about other potential issues, such as obligations for marital debt and/or spousal support in the event of divorce. As long as each party has their own attorney, a prenuptial agreement can function as an important planning tool. For example, a couple might agree to a certain compensation scheme for a spouse that intends to reduce his or her career in order to raise children and care for the household.

The presence of mind that comes with understanding one’s own financial future may even help a couple to focus more on their relationship, rather than property issues. Also keep in mind that a valid contract must comply with applicable state and federal laws, which means that the parties can’t child support or custody issues, which are determined according to Kentucky law.