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Specialty tag(s): Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

What is a Modern Premarital Agreement?

Aimee Pingenot Key | January 4, 2022

A modern premarital agreement can often be the secret to a stronger, happier marriage. Goranson Bain Ausley Partner Aimee Pingenot Key answers the question “what is a premarital agreement” and explains why it might be the right option for you and your future spouse.


What is a premarital agreement?

I am Aimee Pingenot Key. I am a partner at Goranson Bain Ausley and I am a Board Certified family lawyer. A premarital agreement is a contract entered into by spouses before marriage. It helps to define the rights and duties and how assets and debts are considered and divided both during the marriage and in divorce or in death.

What are your goals when working with couples to draft premarital agreements?

My number one goal and working with couples to draft a premarital agreement is to draft something that is customized and individualized for them. And that is going to explain and help guide them through their marriage and be a roadmap so that they don’t end up questioning themselves or questioning what the outcome would be in a divorce. My hope in working with couples and crafting a premarital agreement is that this is a roadmap to happiness for a long-standing relationship.

What is a modern prenup and how is it different from a traditional prenup?

A modern prenup is different than a traditional prenup. Couples work together in creating their modern prenup to have something that is customized in unique for them in order to define and establish the rules for their future marriage.

How can a premarital agreement be a secret to a stronger, happier marriage?

A premarital agreement can often be the secret to a stronger, happier marriage. Couples work together and talk about hard issues before they get married. They talk about their finances. They talk about their independent estates and what they want to form together. Having a modern prenup encourages couples to sit down and talk and think about what their future looks like together financially before they actually enter into marriage. There are a lot of misconceptions about premarital agreements. Many couples come to me thinking that prenups are only for high-wealth clients or individuals with tremendous assets. In reality, premarital agreements are very important for almost anyone, especially when we’re working with couples who have worked a long time to establish their own success in their own estates. Couples who come to us with children from prior marriages or relationships, or family businesses or trusts that need to be understood and explained before entering into a marriage agreement. My best advice for couples who are considering a modern Premarital Agreement is to start thinking about this as far in advance of their marriages as possible. The more time that two people have to be able to talk about envision and create their future contract and relationship, the easier and more enjoyable the process will be. I also think that it’s very important for couples entering into a prenup to be willing to talk openly and honestly about their expectations, about their estates, about their concerns, and about their visions of the future with their future spouse so that they can create something that is unique and individualized for them.

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