1. Talk to Your Partner First
Before even beginning to consider a prenuptial agreement, couples should start by talking to their partner about their finances and potential expectations for their marriage. This can help set the stage for a productive conversation about preparing a prenup. During this conversation, each partner should share what they expect from the other in terms of financial responsibility, such as who will be responsible for bills and debts.
2. List of Assets & Debts Before Marriage
As part of their prenuptial agreement checklist, couples should make a list of all assets and debts owned by each partner before the marriage takes place. This includes bank accounts and property, investments, retirement savings accounts, vehicles, student loans, credit card debt, and any other financial obligation or asset held by either spouse. It’s important that both parties are completely honest while creating this list so they can accurately reflect their individual financial circumstances going into the marriage.
3. Property Acquired During Marriage
The next step on the prenuptial agreement checklist is to outline how any property acquired during the marriage will be divided in the event of a divorce. This includes both physical items and investments such as real estate, stocks, and bonds. Couples should specify who will take ownership of what, or if it can be sold off and the proceeds split between them.
4. Income and Asset Management
One important factor for couples to consider when drafting their prenuptial agreement is how their income and assets will be managed after they’re married. For example, will each partner still have separate bank accounts or merge theirs together? It’s also important to discuss who will be responsible for managing investments or joint accounts.
5. Tax, Debt, and Credit Issues
Another essential part of the prenuptial agreement checklist is to address any potential tax, debt, or credit issues that may arise during the marriage. For example, couples should specify who will be responsible for filing taxes and paying off any debts incurred during the marriage. It’s also important to talk about credit card usage and whether both partners will have access to a joint account.
Couples should also consider how they will contribute towards household expenses when making their prenuptial agreement checklist. This includes items such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and other bills associated with maintaining a home. Couples should decide if these costs will be split evenly or if one partner will be expected to take on a larger share.
7. Spousal Maintenance
Couples should also consider spousal maintenance, or alimony when creating their prenuptial agreement checklist. This may include money awarded to one partner in the event of a divorce or separation, and can also cover factors such as health insurance coverage, child support payments, and more. Couples should discuss each partner’s potential financial needs in order to make an informed decision on this matter.
8. Family Gifts
In addition to discussing assets acquired before and during the marriage, couples should consider any gifts from family members that may come up during the course of the marriage. Whether it’s money for a down payment on a house or jewelry passed down from a grandparent, couples should make sure to discuss how these items will be treated in the event of a divorce.
9. Filing Taxes
Include filing taxes as part of their prenuptial agreement checklist. This includes discussing who will be responsible for filing the tax returns and making payments, as well as how any refunds or credits will be divided between them. Couples may also want to consider the possibility of joint filers in the event they both work and earn a significant amount during a year.
10. Premarital Agreement Duration
Finally, couples should discuss the duration of their premarital agreement. This includes specifying when it will take effect and how long it will remain active. It’s important to decide these details before marriage so that both parties understand the future implications of their agreement.