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A Practical Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

marriage and divorce attorneyMen and women marry, generally speaking, because they are in love. At the time of marriage couples rarely think about getting divorced. Divorce isn’t romantic. Marriage certificates are not supposed to have expiration dates built into them. However today, divorce is much more common than it was in the past. Do you need a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. These agreements are prepared prior to marriage. One party hires an attorney to draft the prenuptial agreement and the other party needs an attorney to review it to see that it is fair. Prenuptial agreements provide structure for issues concerning division of assets, spousal maintenance (alimony), divorce, death of one of the parties, separation of the parties and the disability of one of the parties. The law to New York requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and executed by each of the parties. The agreement also must be acknowledged in the same manner as a deed (this requires the notarization of the parties statements).

Second Marriages

Individuals entering into a second marriage are more likely to request that a prenuptial agreement be entered into than those being married for the first time. This is especially true when there are children from the prior relationship. The prenuptial agreement allows each of the parties to protect assets acquired prior to the date of the marriage.

Prenuptial Agreements are not Romantic

The discussions of entering into a prenuptial agreement can cause strife among the prospective nuptials. Many individuals going into a marriage are of the belief that if they ask their prospective spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement, it will convey a lack of love and belief that the marriage will not be long lasting.


Couples who enter into a marriage where either party has significant assets or children from their prior marriage, they should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. Although prenuptial agreements are not romantic, this should not stop the parties from making logical and intelligent decisions concerning their economic rights. Although, when people get married, they don’t think about divorce. A divorce rate of almost 50% is a fact of life.prenuptial and post nuptial attorneys

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren’s Post-Marriage Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

tiger_woods__elin_nordegrenReports have been circulating the past few days that Tiger Woods has been in negotiation with his wife Elin to “update” the pre-nuptial agreement to induce her to stay in the marriage after news of several of his extra-marital affairs became public.

Originally, the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement, signed in October of 2004, stipulated that Ms. Nordegren would receive a $20m payment from Mr. Woods after 10 years of marriage, which would have been in the year 2014. But with the recent revelations, news sources have reported that he has offered her an immediate payment of $5m and an additional $55m if she stays with him until October of 2011. The new agreement would reportedly also given her even another $20m if she stayed longer (totaling $80m). It would have also required her to attend public events with him and allow him to show the world (and his corporate sponsors, who are sticking with him so far) that he and Ms. Nordegren had reconciled completely.

These reports make it (mildly) surprising that she left for Sweden this week, thus potentially forfeiting any payment under either the old pre-nuptial agreement or any new agreement. It would definitely be understandable if she simply felt that no amount of money is worth staying in a miserable marriage. Alternatively, her stay overseas may be temporary and the couple will be getting back together. Not much is known publicly at this point.

It is noteworthy that although most news sources are reporting that the couple were in negotiations to sign a new “pre-nuptial agreement,” that term is not the correct one. If a couple who is already married signs the equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement, it is called a “post-nuptial agreement” because the nuptials have already taken place.

You can always contact the office by phone at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail for questions about pre or post-nuptial agreements, divorce, or any other kind of legal matter.

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