How Prenups Can Protect You in Case of a Divorce

When my husband remarried a colleague after two years of marriage, I got the safety net I desperately needed. Emotionally devastated, I kept my home and relied on alimony to get me back on my feet.

A prenuptial agreement is basically a legally binding agreement for both parties to fully disclose their assets and liabilities. It can also explain a wide range of issues, such as who will pay the mortgage, who will create a separate fund to cover a stay-at-home partner or parent, or where the signatories will live in the event of a divorce. It quickly reveals where each person stands financially and creates a forum for candid discussions about how they want to manage their money after marriage.

The cost of making one varies widely, but the higher cost (possibly $5,000 to $10,000) is usually assumed by the person requesting it. According to Raymond Hekmat, founder of Hekmat Law and Mediation in Los Angeles, a partner who reviews documents with another attorney to make sure the contract isn’t onerous could pay about $3,000. I have.

Fifty-one-year-old Maria Squitieri, a teacher in New York, made the mistake of signing a consent form a few days before her wedding that she didn’t take the time to confirm. She was raised by her grandmother, who “she is very naive and trusting in her mistakes,” she said.

At 33, “I really had nothing in my marriage. .”

She thought she would be fine and ready to go back to work, even if the marriage ended in divorce. I longed to marry a good man. She worked for her first two years after getting married, but after her son was born, she left work for seven years and stayed home with him.

The marriage failed, and by agreement she was forced to remain in New York City with her son. There, the only affordable housing available to them on a teacher’s salary was a one-room apartment, even though her son’s private school tuition, her summer camp, and tutoring were guaranteed. has fallen into debt. The alimony she received was insufficient to live without her job and it took her two years to find one.

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