Engagement rings and pre-nuptial agreements should be as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. Having one is great; but having both is better.
Many people choose to get engaged during the holiday season. If someone proposes to their significant other and gives them a ring on a holiday (Christmas, Hannukah, a birthday, etc.), then that ring becomes a gift. The giftee can keep that ring no matter what. However, if the ring is given on any other day, it actually functions as a contract. That means that if the parties get married, then the engagement ring becomes the personal property of the person who accepted the proposal. However, if the parties do not get married, the ring then remains personal property of the person who proposed since the contract was never fulfilled.
Pre-nuptial agreements can address the engagement ring (especially if it is a family heirloom), as well as any assets or liabilities held by either party. In addition to that, a pre-nuptial agreement can provide specific terms for how the parties will share their finances (if at all) and/or include provisions as to how the parties would address windfalls (such as inheritances or other unexpected financial gains such as lottery winnings). While the intent and hope when drafting a pre-nup is that you will never have to use it, it is important to be thorough so that if you ever do get divorced, you can follow the parameters included in such. For example, a pre-nuptial agreement allows you to set forth terms as to how you and your partner would obtain, maintain and/or divide any property you purchase, or, whether or not either of you were to pay alimony if you did eventually get divorced.
Having the pre-nup conversation with your significant other may not be the easiest thing, but it is something important that you should consider. Let our office make handling your pre-nuptial agreement easier, not harder. Attorneys Kristen Wolf and Shari Shore have almost 25 years of combined experience. They have drafted numerous pre-nuptial agreements, and will make sure they protect your assets, and your spouse’s assets. Let us check one more thing off that wedding to-do list!
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