Haute Lawyer Janice Roven On How Not To Get Divorced While Putting A Prenup Together


Editor’s Note: Janice Roven is a Family Law/Divorce attorney in the New York City area and has been practicing law for over 35 years. She became involved in the area of family law because of her own very unfortunate custody battle. As a result, she understands being on both sides of the table. She provides strength, compassion, and the wisdom of personal experience.

Here, she offers her advice on how to successfully get a prenup before marriage.

Deciding to have a prenup prior to getting married is often a good idea. However, beware of the potential message that you are giving your partner. To some, the message is “we are both protecting the assets that we accumulated prior to our pending marriage.” To others, the message may be “I love you but not enough to share my assets.”  Still, to others, the message may be “I love you but I don’t have faith in our love so I need to protect myself if we get divorced.” As such, the presentation of the prenup idea is one that must be done with kid gloves. Additionally, once the idea is presented, the conversations must occur with love and care. A couple may not recover from one partner’s bad presentation. As an attorney, here are some suggestions to make the process simpler or to assure that the prenup is not a precursor to divorce.

First, prior to suggesting the idea speak to an attorney. Find out the law in your jurisdiction regarding what can be in a prenup and what cannot be in a prenup.

Second, speak to an attorney about the economics of a divorce.  In order to understand the prenup, you have to understand what would happen if you got divorced.

Third, think about what assets you want to keep separate and what assets you want to be marital.

Fourth, make sure that you believe that whatever you decide is fair and you anticipate that your fiancé will also believe that it will be fair.

Fifth, make sure your fiancé also has an attorney. You do not want to be confronted with the issue of your spouse saying in 10 years that they did not have the money for an attorney, and they did not understand what they were signing.

Sixth, if you have to list your assets and what is going to be separate, be truthful. You do not want to be confronted with a material misrepresentation.

Seventh, speak to your partner. If you can’t talk about hard things prior to getting married that could be a  precursor of things to come.