A premarital or prenuptial agreement is a contract between prospective spouses that is executed in contemplation of marriage; the marriage itself is consideration for the agreement.?”Pre-nups” typically specify how assets and debts will be handled in the event of a separation, a death, or a divorce. At Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, our attorneys are often called upon to help develop prenuptial agreements to accomplish our clients’ objectives.

Two gold wedding rings. Isolated 3D image

When it comes to property (property brought into the marriage by one party, property owned jointly by the couple creating the agreement, or property either or both might acquire during the marriage), a prenuptial agreement can cover the rights each person will have to:

  • buy
  • sell
  • use
  • exchange
  • abandon
  • lease
  • consume
  • expend
  • assign
  • create a security interest in
  • mortgage
  • encumber
  • dispose of
  • manage and control

No premarital agreement, however, may violate the law or adversely affect the right of a child to support.

But pre-nups show distrust, don’t they?  They’re so unromantic and unloving, aren’t they? “Time for a reality check, my friends,” says financial advisor Suze Orman. “Drawing up a prenuptial agreement together is a sign of incredible trust and financial openness – you’re fooling yourself if you think you can achieve complete intimacy without it,” she asserts.

But can prenups ever be bad for marital health? At least one lawyer/mediator, Laurie Israel, thinks so, at least for first time marriages. Prenups, she adds in an interview with the New York Times, don’t take into account a spouse’s nonfinancial contributions, like making the house a home, raising children or forgoing a career to help a spouse or the family. All these things benefit the more-moneyed spouse who put the prenup in place to begin with.

On the other side of things, “making a prenup may actually strengthen your relationship”, according to Nolo.com.  That’s because communicating about money matters can actually improve the quality of your relationship and support good communication in your marriage. Talking frankly about money and property can eliminate misunderstandings that might otherwise crop up between you.

At Geyer & Associates, we’ve found that exact thing to be true, particularly in second marriage situations, where couples tend to experience a higher rate of breakups than first marriages. And, while Indiana is one of the few states that does not require financial disclosure in pre-marriage agreements, our attorneys at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates have found the biggest benefits of prenuptial agreements come about because of the conversations that go into creating them.