Honesty is the best policy when you're dealing with finances and a fiancé.
Question: I'm going to be married later this year. My fiancé wants a prenuptial agreement. He has set up a meeting with a lawyer, but I'm not sure what I need to do. What documents do we need to bring to the meeting?
Suze: Talking through your financial goals and fears is the best way I can think of to start a marriage. When you and your fiancé negotiate your prenup, I want you both to consider every asset you have today and any you might have tomorrow, including retirement plans and money or property you may inherit. A prenup can also govern premarital debt, so you and your fiancé can choose to protect yourselves against any debt your partner is carrying at the time you marry. Some couples go beyond assets and debt to specify how they want other aspects of their marriage to work—including, say, that one partner will stay home and raise the children while the other works.
After you've had in-depth discussions but before you've signed your prenup, you should each consult a separate lawyer to be sure that the final agreement works for you (some states require this). Ideally, you'll want to have your prenup in place six to nine months before the wedding; a prenup signed at the last minute may be found invalid by a court. Then sign it, put it away and go into your marriage hoping never to look at it again.
From the January 2002 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine