When should you sign a prenup?
You should sign a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, because by definition a premarital agreement is one that is entered into before marriage.
If you are considering marriage, consider entering into a prenuptial agreement early, since there are legal consequences for signing a prenup too close to your wedding. That said, as a general matter you should also avoid entering into a prenup too far ahead of your wedding (e.g. not more than 180 days in advance). The reason is that you don’t want to risk the argument that either party forgot what was in the prenup (or that they even signed one) by the time they get married, or that life circumstances have unknowingly made the prenup terms inaccurate by the time the marriage occurs.
I would estimate that the majority of my clients enter into their prenuptial agreement 1 to 3 months prior to the marriage.
It may be the least-fun part of your wedding planning, but the reality is that divorce rates are too high to ignore. According to analysts and attorneys:
· 41%-50% of first-time marriages end in divorce
· 60-67% of second marriages end in divorce
· About 74% of third marriages fail.
Unfortunately, many marriages don’t have a fairy tale ending. Those divorcing couples who entered into a valid prenuptial agreement before getting married have a document that provides certainty as to their rights, minimizes conflict and legal costs. A well-drafted prenup is like a road map that helps both spouses find the path of least resistance and conflict amidst the emotional turmoil of the separation and divorce process.
Smart, responsible adults routinely prepare for disasters as an obvious part of their everyday lives, but they generally protect against catastrophic events that have less than a 5% chance of occurring. The chances of a “marital disaster” approach 50% or higher, so every marrying couple should at least consider getting a prenup.