Should I Sign a Prenup?

The short answer is – YES!

Everyone should sign a prenuptial agreement. The divorce rate in America is around 50% so you are not being pessimistic, you are smartly being realistic in preparing for the possibility of dissolution. It also demonstrates your maturity. You are looking ahead, considering your financial future, as well as your personal one. Be responsible. Love and practicality are by no means mutually exclusive.

New Mexico, which adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act like most other states, defines a prenup as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.”

The basic requirements are that the agreement be:
• executed by parties at least 18 years old;
• entered into by parties with sufficient mental capacity;
• in writing;
• entered into voluntarily, without outside pressure;
• fair – one party cannot have a higher burden or possibly be left with nothing; and
• notarized.

Prenuptial agreements address your rights and responsibilities going into a marriage while forecasting what may be a significant issue should the marriage dissolve.

Some topics that are addressed in a prenup are:
• Each spouse’s property rights (separately and as a couple)
• Each spouse’s debt obligations
• How property/assets/debt will be divided or distributed in the event of separation/divorce/death
• Retirement benefits and life insurance proceeds
• Wills and estate planning
• Alimony payments to which spouse for how much and how long
• Other issues the couple would like to include that don’t conflict with existing law

Important to note, prenups cannot address child custody, child support or parenting issues. Attempts at such will be invalidated by New Mexico courts.

As many people are told, “marriage changes you,” well fortunately you can alter, modify or rescind your prenup after marriage; all that is required is a written acknowledgment signed by the parties, or a series of acts that evidences an amendment or revocation of the prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements offer tremendous amounts of protection; some of which can’t be entirely predicted until a certain event occurs. For instance, a prenup can protect the wishes of a spouse in the event of death without a validly executed will. It’s hard to imagine a will and a prenup to be legal documents connected in intent, but it’s true. And it’s understandably difficult to prepare for an end at the beginning of a new endeavor, but, simply put, you should.

To consult with an attorney today on prenuptial, or postnuptial, agreements, call the most experienced family law practitioners in New Mexico, the Lightning Legal Group. We are here to help you navigate these significant stages of your life. Schedule a free consultation now by calling 505-247-2390.


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