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Why it's important to keep an open mind about prenuptial agreements

It's understandable how a couple might get cold feet about the prospect of executing a prenuptial agreement, perhaps viewing this step as being unromantic, unnecessary or perhaps even unusual.

The truth is, however, that executing a prenuptial agreement is really none of these things. Consider that a 2013 survey of family law attorneys by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found a 63 percent spike in prenuptial agreements in recent years, while legal experts are forecasting that this number will climb higher in light of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Indeed, to show how ubiquitous prenuptial agreements have become, consider that many reports are now theorizing that this legally binding document might be at the heart of the recent high-profile split of Hollywood power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, which came exactly ten years and one day after they exchanged vows.

Specifically, these reports posit that the prenuptial agreement might have had some type of clause awarding Garner -- who initiated the divorce -- additional money in the event the marriage lasted longer than a decade.

As interesting as all this is, it's important for anyone considering executing a prenuptial agreement to always keep the following in mind:

  • Prenuptial agreements aren't just for millionaires and can prove beneficial for people from all walks of life.
  • Always perform your due diligence if executing a prenuptial agreement, including knowing what is and what isn't covered.
  • Understand that executing a prenuptial agreement should probably take upwards of six months.
  • Strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can review the prenuptial agreement to ensure it is both accurate and equitable.  

Minnesota law has strict requirements for the preparation and execution of prenuptial agreements. It is crucial to follow the requirements established by law to have a valid prenuptial agreement. If you fail to follow Minnesota law on the requirements for a valid prenuptial agreement you run the risk of having the agreement rejected by the Court. You may find documents and information on the internet and be inclined to use those resources to prepare a prenuptial agreement. However, those documents may not meet the legal requirements and those resources may not provide you the steps you need to follow that are required by law to have a valid agreement. Be very careful in using these types of resources and not consulting with an attorney. We recommend that you consult with an attorney with sufficient time before the wedding date to have the time needed to address the terms you want and meet the requirements established by law. A prenuptial agreement must be executed before the wedding date in order to be valid.

 Did you execute a prenuptial agreement? If so, how was your experience?

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