Prenups are for women, too

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  • | 12:00 p.m. February 20, 2017
  • Law
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Prenuptial agreements are contracts prior to a marriage that protect women and men in the event of a divorce.

The most common stereotype is the prenup between the rich old man and his young trophy wife, but that doesn’t hold true in reality.

Couples are waiting longer to get married and women are entering into marriage with more assets than they did 20 years ago, so women need prenups now more than ever.

Some issues that should be considered:

Premarital property

Any property that a woman brings into the marriage is premarital property.

If she buys a home prior to the marriage and she and her husband live in it or use it as rental property, it still qualifies as premarital property.

Even if they reside in the home together, there is no requirement that the husband be added to the title.

Premarital property applies to retirement as well. If a woman has started an account before marriage, she should protect it with a prenup.


During the course of a marriage, there can be a lot of gifts given back and forth.

Usually, jewelry is given by men to women more so than jewelry is given to men by women.

A prenup can classify all gifts to belong to the recipient, allowing a woman to keep jewelry separate from the equitable distribution.

Otherwise, she will see all her jewelry appraised and divided during the divorce.


Alimony is spousal support and that will be very specific to each party.

I recommend women consider what role they intend to have in the marriage.

Do they think they may take time off from their career, sacrifice their career or just dial it down in order to spend more time with the children and allow their husband’s career to take off?

I don’t see anything wrong with that, and I think the most important thing is that as women, we recognize what we’re giving up.

A woman also can stipulate that for every year of her career she gives up, she will be compensated in alimony and additional equitable distribution if there’s a divorce.

Infidelity clause

Protect yourself. If he cheats on you, make him pay because most states are no-fault.

In divorce court, you’re not going to get additional compensation because your husband was unfaithful.

This can be reciprocal, and a lot of husbands will contend, “Hey, if you get it, so do I.”

When there is a lot of money involved –– and particularly if the husband-to-be has a history of cheating –– I would absolutely put that in the prenup.

Most important, you can’t do it yourself.

You must have a lawyer draft your prenuptial agreement and I recommend you go to a family law attorney.

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