You’re in love. But, you also have a financial plan. Or, their entire family have signed prenups and they have to sign one. Who do you ask for an objective opinion?
We did some research for you. We spoke with people that have signed a prenup and some that decided not to. They gave us their top pieces of advice and mistakes to avoid.
1) Should you get a lawyer or use an online template?
This advice is especially important if you don’t have experience working with a lawyer.
- How to negotiate a flat rate
- If your future spouse is using a lawyer, it’s best you also get your own to represent you and your interests. Since these agreements tend to be standard and very common, you might want to try a service like Avvo, they have a list of prenup lawyers. The general cost is about $2,500, but of course that depends on how complicated you want to make it.
- Resources for templates
- There’s a bunch of templates online, like this one. The Knot (a wedding site) also has an example one you can copy and paste.
2) Having the conversation and agreeing on the “main pieces”
Even if you don’t end up signing a prenup, you likely want to agree on how you will plan your finances together, and what happens if one of you decides to take time off work for the family.
- Shared assets, income, spousal support, property
** pro tip, try reading these negotiating books before having the talk: Never Split the Difference, Getting to Yes
3) What do others include?
Remember, you don’t have to include everything right away. What isn’t contracted for can be an amendment afterwards. The key is really getting the main points in contract.
Here’s a more exhaustive list of what prenups include, but yours doesn’t have to include them all.
- Assets: property, valuables, etc.
- **pro tip: if your partner doesn’t have a will, make sure that you legally can’t get booted out of the house/apartment that you both live in!
- What happens if you own a company? If you split up, will they get a piece?
- Stocks, retirement
- Spousal Support / Alimony: if one of you end up taking time off to take care of the family or kids, you might want to negotiate spousal support.
- Pet Custody
- Confidentiality (social media, memoirs, TV): after a split, you might not want your ex writing a memoir, or tweeting about the breakup.