Prenuptial Agreement FAQs

What do my fiancé and I need to do in order to create a prenuptial agreement?

A: You should begin making arrangements for your prenuptial agreement as far in advance of your wedding as possible. There are several cornerstones for an enforceable premarital agreement, one of which is a fair, reasonable and full disclosure of the property and financial obligations of each party. You and your fiancé should each have independent counsel engaged in negotiating the agreement from the outset. You should each discuss your objectives with your respective attorneys. Typically, but not always, one spouse is clearly advantaged by a premarital agreement which alters the law as it relates to spousal support, property acquisition, characterization of property (community vs. separate) and the division of assets or allocation of debt. Nevertheless, you and your fiancé should endeavor to be fair to each other because unconscionable agreements are subject to challenge.

What effect does our prenuptial agreement have on our divorce?

A: A well-crafted premarital agreement adds certainty and predictability to the resolution of issues arising upon the dissolution of your marriage should that occur. Avoiding the stress and uncertainty of litigation is a significant benefit. Remember, however, that it is only natural that you and your fiancé will view each other differently at the time of divorce than you do when planning your marriage and negotiating a premarital agreement. Additionally, the circumstances existing at the time of dissolution may be far different at each of those events. Both of your expectations may be greatly different as well. Some premarital agreements build in alternative provisions based upon the length of the marriage or specific changes and circumstances.

What can you tell me about the value of getting a prenuptial agreement in my area?

A: Well drafted premarital agreements are generally enforced in our courts. Nevertheless, their enforceability and validity are often challenged by the disadvantaged party. Challenges are often made regarding the formalities of the agreement, the voluntariness of its execution and the fairness of its provisions. It is therefore important for you and your fiancé to each engage counsel experienced in the negotiation and drafting of these agreements. A negotiated agreement is far more likely to be enforced than one signed as a take it or leave it proposition.

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