Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prenuptial Agreements and the Summer Wedding Season

As wedding season rolls through the summer, I have spent many hours with clients preparing their prenuptial agreements before their upcoming weddings. While it is not the most romantic thing to discuss before your wedding, in many cases, a prenuptial agreement is a good investment before you get married.

Years from now, if the prenuptial agreement is tested in court, there are a variety of factors that a court will consider when deciding if the agreement is enforceable.  As a preliminary matter, it is best to have the agreement signed in advance of your wedding date, not five minutes before you walk down the aisle.

When preparing the agreement, instead of using some form you found online, it is best to have an attorney prepare and review the document for you. That attorney should not do the same service for your spouse. Your spouse should have their own attorney sit down with them and review the agreement and be sure to explain all of the provisions before they sign the agreement.

The attorney involvement also helps when it comes to the signing of the agreement. With certain formalities that need to be observed, it is best to have the supervision of an attorney who knows the law and can be sure that all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.

In the agreement itself, it is important that all of your assets and liabilities, and your spouse’s assets and liabilities, are disclosed to the satisfaction of all parties. If you forget to mention that $25 million bank account, it could come back to haunt you in the case of a divorce. Also, if your agreement has very lopsided provisions that are really unfair to one of the spouses, any court that is reviewing the document will take a skeptical look at the agreement when deciding if it is enforceable.

While you may save a few dollars with an online form, if you truly want to protect your finances, call an attorney and be sure to get the prenuptial agreement professionally drafted.

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