Getting married is one of the most joyous occasions in life. However, before walking down the aisle, couples should consider preparing a prenuptial agreement. A prenup can protect each spouse’s rights and interests as well as prevent unnecessary legal battles in case of divorce. But before signing on the dotted line, there are five crucial things you need to know about prenuptial agreements.
It’s Not Only for the Rich and Famous
Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements are not just for the super-wealthy. Any couple can draft a prenup as long as they comply with specific legal requirements. You may want to prepare a prenup if you have substantial assets, earn a high income, or if you own a business. A prenup can also address spousal support, property division, and debts in case of a divorce. Both parties should disclose all the necessary information and consult with separate legal counsel before signing it.
There are Limitations on What You Can Include
While a prenup can cover a wide variety of issues, there are legal limitations on its content. For example, you cannot include anything that violates state or federal law or provisions that encourage divorce. A prenup cannot waive child support or custody, and courts generally do not enforce provisions that are unfair or unreasonable at the time of divorce.
It’s Not a Guarantee against a Divorce
A prenuptial agreement can be helpful in case of a divorce, but it is not a guarantee against it. Even if you have a prenup, you still need to work hard to maintain a healthy relationship and address any issues and conflicts as they arise. A prenup is not a substitute for open communication and compromise in marriage.
It Must Be Executed and Notarized Properly
To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, it must comply with specific legal requirements. The prenup must be in writing, signed by both parties, notarized, and executed voluntarily and without duress. It’s also essential that both spouses receive adequate legal counsel before signing the document.
It’s Better to Prepare It Sooner than Later
The most comfortable and stress-free time to draft a prenuptial agreement is before you tie the knot. Ideally, both parties should begin the prenup process several months before the wedding date to avoid any undue pressure or rush. Preparing a prenup in advance ensures that you have enough time to negotiate, disclose all relevant financial information, and seek competent legal advice.
While prenuptial agreements are not a requirement for marriage, they can protect each spouse’s interests and provide peace of mind. Understanding the five key things you need to know about prenups can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue one. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, consult with a qualified attorney who can help draft a document that is tailored to your needs and complies with state law. A little upfront preparation can save you from financial uncertainty and legal battles down the road. Consult with a prenuptial agreement drafting attorney to learn more.