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No sane person gets married intending to get divorced. Yet many people resist having a prenuptial agreement because they think it makes light of the commitment implicit in the decision to marry.
In actuality the opposite is true. At Meislik & Meislik, we believe that a prenuptial agreement reinforces the idea that commitments matter. It recognizes legally that the decision to marry is added to our other commitments–it doesn’t eradicate them.
When it is duly considered, carefully executed, and rigorously enforced, a prenuptial agreement secures those other commitments should a divorce become necessary.
A proper prenuptial agreement can see to it that whatever assets you brought into the marriage remain yours. Let’s say your parents worked very hard in order to leave you a business. They died. You may feel that the worth of that business on your wedding day should continue to belong to you regardless of whether your marriage survives. If you and your spouse decide to work together to build that business further, the prenuptial agreement can establish how any growth in the business following your marriage will be handled should there be a divorce.
Here’s another commonplace situation. This is not your first marriage. Over the years, you worked hard to create a certain legacy for your children. A second marriage should not affect that legacy; nor should its dissolution, if that eventuality comes to pass, impact your children’s inheritance. No question about it: A sound prenuptial agreement is the best way to protect your children’s legacy.
Like any major event in life, divorce always has after-effects. Everyone’s life is different after divorce–not necessarily worse, sometimes a whole lot better–but definitely different. One area in which your life should not be worse is in your standard of living. No oral promises can protect your standard of living as securely as a prenuptial agreement.
Divorce is not the only eventuality a prenuptial agreement can cover. Death also ends a marriage. In our family law practice, we discuss with you all the ways in which a careful prenuptial agreement can protect the children of a second or third marriage in the event of either partner’s death.
Keep in mind that a prenuptial agreement is not the first step toward divorce. Rather, it is the first step in a sensible approach to marriage. That’s what our over twenty years of family law practice has confirmed.