A prenuptial agreement is an agreement made by a couple before they marry concerning the ownership of their respective assets and debt should the marriage fail. The agreement is a legally binding contract. The contract determines how the couple’s debt and property will be divided upon divorce, separation, or death. In a prenuptial agreement, both parties must disclose all their financial assets and debts in the event the agreement is challenged in court. You must define the property that will be kept separate. It is best if the couple is planning a prenuptial agreement to contact a skilled prenuptial agreement attorney so that important factors of conditions and wording are solid and no mistakes can make the contract null and void. In this article we list a few mistakes to avoid…
Failure to Make the Prenuptial Agreement Valid
Long ago, having a prenuptial agreement was considered stodgy or even insulting, but these days, “prenups” are becoming increasingly common for high net worth or huge debt couples. Simply put, a prenup formalizes the understanding between spouses-to-be as to which of their assets and debts will become marital property, which will continue to belong to whom individually. If one spouse dies with a lot of debt, a prenuptial agreement ensures the surviving spouse will not be responsible for paying what is owed. To make sure your prenuptial agreement is valid you need to sign it in the presence of an attorney.
Pressuring the Other Party Into Signing the Agreement
As a soon-to-be-wed couple, you are not only joining your hearts, you are also combining your home, family, and social and financial structures. In essence, there isn’t one area of your life that marriage doesn’t impact. Despite the fact that we use terms such as “marriage contract,” and “divorce court,” people still don’t seem to understand that marriage is a business deal.
Don’t let anyone pressure you into signing a prenup (or any document, for that matter). Do spend the money to have your own attorney look over the document. Do ask as many questions as you need to until you feel you completely understand the terms. Don’t sign the prenup until you are ready to sign it. If either party coerces the other into signing a prenuptial agreement and the court finds-out, it will automatically be considered invalid.
Forms of coercion include…
- Threats and/or blackmail
- Being Guilted into singing the document
- Signing and not realizing, or not being able to read what was signed
- Rushing to sign before the wedding
Outrageous or Immoral Provisions
Even though divorce court judges are typically disinterested in most peculiarities of individual contracts, there can be factors that raise eyebrows. For instance, if your prenup states no child support whatsoever will be paid in the event of a divorce, it is likely to be thrown out. Provisions in the prenup about weight gain, hair color, frequency of sexual relations, visits by in-laws (remember, the judges have heard it all) are likely not to hold up in court, either. A prenuptial agreement needs to have clear guidelines that do not compromise the autonomy of either individual.
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Helmer Somers Law helps individuals and businesses navigate the complex system of rules that accompany all legal situations. We are licensed to practice in both Kentucky and Ohio and offers flexible, affordable payment terms for our services. We welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and become your lawyer for life! It’s a fact of life in the modern world. There comes a time for virtually every adult American when the services of a competent, dedicated lawyer are required. Circumstances such as divorce, bankruptcy, estate planning or an income tax audit demand that your rights be protected, and your long-term interests advocated for with diligence and perseverance. When you call Helmer & Somers Law, you can rest assured that they will be.