Why A Prenuptial Agreement?
For those who have not researched San Diego Biz Law APC, lead attorney Steven Riznyk is probably best known for his skills as a high-level negotiator. He has dealt with many complex cases for political figures, producers, actors, federal agents and the like. He trains lawyers nationwide in these skills and is writing a book on the topic. As a negotiator who has spent a lifetime learning human behavior, one area that he finds consistently harder than most is the one that deals with relationships. It is hard to believe that people so close to each other are now ruthlessly seeking to damage and injure the other party. These are the same people who could not wait for their mate to call before they were married…and now?
The Lawyer Factor
When your spouse seeks divorce and hires a lawyer, that attorney will work to best represent their client. As a result, they will propose a number of ideas and strategies to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and then it is no longer the same case it could have been. What’s worse, if your spouse is low on funds, then you will be the one paying for their lawyer to go after you, and in the world of litigation, $100,000 is just not that much money, especially in a contested divorce case when assets are involved.
Would you like an example?: Two years ago, a friend of Mr. Riznyk had discovered that she was in a solid mess because of what her ex-husband was seeking and what her previous three law firms had done to her case. As she was low on funding as a result of this, we stepped in and helped her out pro bono. This case only required help in two areas: child custody and child support. We did not think it would require much time, as those are not complex issues.
Would you be surprised to know it has taken $140,000 in legal hours to try to resolve just those two issues? And this case is still going on, as the lawyer has filed more motions. Never underestimate what your spouse will state to win, what their lawyer will file or how many times they will file motions to drive up your legal costs. What if there are more issues involved, such as material assets, retirement accounts and other issues, such as comingling?
Let’s assume you worked hard; had children; acquired some material assets, such as real estate, vehicles, a brokerage account and a retirement account; and then even commingled (i.e., mixed personal and marriage) assets. Now, you have a divorce, and you have to pay two sets of lawyers (safely, at $500 an hour or more, if they’re good) – what will you have left? Do you know how many people have gone from owning a five-bedroom house to renting a one-bedroom apartment after a divorce?
Doesn’t A Prenup Make A Negative Statement?
A prenup does not make a negative statement. A prenup is an insurance policy for a rainy day. You can also remind your spouse that if things don’t work out, the prenup will save them the headache of divorce court. Even if the spouse is not paying for it, he or she will not enjoy this skin-tearing, ruthless event. Divorce court is no fun for either party. Additionally, a prenup allows you the benefit of being more generous with your spouse. You will not have to worry that if you spoil him or her that you will be setting up a pattern for which you will be financially punished should the marriage end.
A Prenup Is Not A Weapon
We would prefer to know that you use the prenup as a way of liberating yourself. You can now spoil your spouse, you can comingle your assets, you can spoil him or her at your heart’s content and know that these things will not be held against you later on by some lawyer locking eyes with you as if you were a criminal. Know that once you are protected, it is easier to be free. A great relationship is hard to find, so go ahead and spoil your person, have fun and treat them as if it will take you five years to find the next great relationship.
Honor the relationship for how lovely and valuable it is, and you will find that not only will you never have to open up that prenuptial, but that you may even make that spouse your heir.