Prenuptial Agreements – Things You Should Know
A prenuptial agreement should cover all the issues that you want it to.
The objective of a pre-nuptial agreement is to address what happens in the event of a divorce or separation or death in terms of the distribution of assets and liabilities, spousal support and attorney’s fees. You can address issues such as how your property will be distributed, what, if any alimony, will be paid in the event of a divorce, and any number of similar issues.
- A properly prepared pre-nuptial agreement is an enforceable contract between spouses if it is in fact, properly prepared, properly executed, and there has been the proper disclosure.
- You can prepare your own pre-nuptial agreement. It is inadvisable and the result may be that it is determined to be unenforceable, but nothing prevents you from preparing it yourself.
- Any attorney can prepare a pre-nuptial agreement. However, it is more likely to be upheld (if challenged) if you have it prepared by an experienced family law attorney.
- It is highly advisable for both parties to be represented by counsel. A lawyer can only represent one of the parties to any contract. Representing both spouses (or potential spouses) is a conflict of interest. Your interests are not the same as those of your future spouse. Generally, one person hires a lawyer to draft the pre-nuptial agreement and the other person hires a lawyer to review and negotiate the terms.
- A pre-nuptial agreement can always be modified, but it requires the consent of both parties to the agreement to do so. Pre-nuptial agreements are not usually modified but are often challenged if the parties end up in divorce proceedings because one spouse usually has given away valuable potential assets or claims in the pre-nuptial agreement.