What Not to Do When Getting a Prenuptial Agreement

Breach of ContractMore and more couples are turning to prenuptial agreements to prevent expensive litigation in the event that they wind up getting divorced.  However, simply getting the document drafted and signed isn’t usually enough to ensure you are protected.  Here are a few things anybody thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement should consider:

1. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute If I had a nickel for everybody who called our offices and said they wanted a prenuptial agreement immediately because they are getting married in a couple weeks I would be a rich man.  You always want to get the document drafted well in advance of any wedding plans.  A good rule of thumb is if the wedding invitations have already gone out, you are probably to late.  Why, you might ask?  Well, in the law there is something called duress and duress is the idea that so much undue pressure and influence has been placed upon a person that they are no longer making a decision freely and voluntarily.  As you can imagine once the venue has been chosen, the invitations sent out, the RSVP’s have been received and the wedding day is fast approaching it can place a monumental amount of stress on both parties.  So much so that some people will simply sign a document, regardless of whether they want to or its in their best interests, to save themselves the embarrassment of having to cancel or postpone a wedding or lose deposits.  This idea of duress can be used by your spouse to try to invalidate your prenuptial agreement.

2. Don’t Leave Anything Out – If you are waiving your right to an interest in any asset or you are asking that your soon-to-be spouse waive such interests, always provide them with an accurate up-to-date snapshot of your finances and make sure you receive the same.  Failing to do so can lead one party to claim that they would not have entered into the prenuptial agreement had they been fully informed.

3. Don’t Do It By Yourself – Always seek out an experienced family law attorney when trying to draft a prenuptial agreement.  Remember, the same attorney cannot represent both parties in the drafting and execution of a prenuptial agreement, as there will almost always be a conflict of interest.  Also, we often encounter couples looking for a prenuptial agreement where one spouse insists that they do not want to see an attorney.  We always encourage each party to have an attorney so that they completely understand the document and the rights they might be waiving.

Should you or someone you know be interested in getting a prenuptial agreement please contact the experience family law attorneys at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC.

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