If you are getting married for the first time and bring meaningful assets to the marriage such as a business or professional practice, or are being remarried and wish to make sure your hard earned property remain with you or your children from a prior relationship, a prenuptial agreement may be the right option for you.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between prospective spouses. Most prenuptial agreements contain provisions limiting the distribution of marital property and alimony in the event of divorce and limiting the distribution of property to a spouse in the event of death.
If you would like to discuss a prenuptial agreement, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
We can counsel you as to how to discuss and negotiate a successful agreement. In addition, we can draft a prenuptial agreement and work with your future spouse’s attorney to create a successful transaction.
If you would like more information about the law and practice of drafting prenuptial agreements, please continue reading.
What Issues Should I Address in a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement should deal with any financial or other issue which the parties believe is important to them. Typically, financial issues include the identification of pre-marital or separate property, the treatment of an increase in value of any separate property, payment or non-payment of spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce, and estate and inheritance rights.
What Issues Cannot Be Resolved in a Prenuptial Agreement?
The Courts will not honor any provision in a prenuptial agreement which attempts to limit or define child support obligations or which deal with child custody and visitation. These issues simply cannot be negotiated in advance under any circumstances.
What Should I Disclose About My Finances?
A full and fair disclosure of the assets and liabilities of both parties to the agreement is an essential element of a valid prenuptial agreement. You should disclose all of your assets and liabilities to your future spouse in writing prior to the execution of the agreement.
Should My Future Spouse Have an Attorney?
Yes. It is always best if both parties to the agreement have an attorney, because it increases the likelihood that the agreement will be fairly negotiated and will survive a legal challenge in Court in the event of a divorce.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement be Invalidated in Court?
A party who believes a prenuptial agreement is not valid always has a right to challenge the agreement in Court. The party making the challenge has the burden of proof to show that the agreement was the product of fraud, duress, overreaching or other misconduct.