As summer approaches and people put the final touches on their wedding plans before mailing out all those invitations, I always see a spike in requests for prenuptial agreements. Typically, these do not take a lot of time if they are simple and straight forward, which means they should not be very expensive- and what you buy is an incredible peace of mind.
People don’t expect to get into a car crash, but they put a seat belt on just in case. Well, the same logic should apply to a prenup– my new motto is that it is the best way to play it safe in a world where you have a 50/50 shot at together forever.
In a few weeks, I have been invited to comment on t.v. about what happens without a prenup. Many seem to be unaware of the fact that in some states indefinite alimony still exists– which means it may only end upon death or remarriage of the recepient. Although alimony is only involved in about 20% of all divorces these days, it does still pose a risk for many who dealing with an unexpected split all of the sudden have to try and figure out the amount of support and duration a partner may need until s/he is self-supporting.
As I mentioned on the radio a few weeks ago, prenups can eliminate a lot of anxiety for couples– because it forces them to discuss up front what they want to define as martial versus non-marital. We can set caps or completely waive alimony. We can even include clauses that provide that in the event of a dispute over any issues when a divorce arises, the parties will first try mediation or a Collaborative Divorce prior to any court filings.
The other day, while I was lecturing about love and divorce, someone asked me if I would ever re-marry. Clearly everyone seems to relish in the fact that I am a divorce lawyer by day, who blogs about love at night, and it is no secret that I am still very much a hopeless romantic. That said, I answered the question with total honesty– of course I want to re-marry, but NOT without a prenup.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.