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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I am a US citizen who met a women in India that I will get

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I am a US citizen who met a women in India that I will get engaged to next month and then get married once she comes to the US after I sponsor her as a fiancee. Whe I asked her if she was receptive to signing a pre-nup, she was a bit hesitant but when I told her that is a pre-requisite for the marriage, she has agree. I have an IRA, a 401K, and a condo that I want to safeguard and am debating if I should create a trust or draft a pre-nup. I have other movable assetts that I want protected.

I do not want to spend a lot of money and was wondering if there is a pre-canned pre-nup agreemnet that I could use. My condo is in Michigan. I also want to know the best state to get married in (so my assets can be protected.)

Thank you,

T
Actually, the canned agreements are typically never the best idea, since you cannot rely on them to be specific enough to your needs. A prenup should not cost you more than about $500-$1000 and a simple irrevocable trust would be about $2500 to have properly drafted. The issue is that the trust would be more difficult for her to break than a prenuptial agreement which can be voided by a court based on it being considered unconscionable or lacking full financial disclosure to the other party.

There is no real one best state to get married in, since it is the divorce that matters. If you are not in a community property state getting divorced, and MI is not a community property state, then any assets coming into existence during the marriage (including interest on separate assets) will be divided equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally to the court. The only way to truly protect your assets is with the trust, since the irrevocable trust is considered a separate entity from you and your beneficial rights in the trust remain your separate property. The prenuptial agreement leaves a lot to the court's discretion and should be used in combination with the trust to protect any assets you acquire from the date of your marriage if you choose, but for protecting your previously owned separate assets and retirement plans, the trust is the ultimate protection.


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