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Understanding the important basics of prenuptial agreements

Though they were not always regarded in these terms, prenuptial agreements are now widely considered to be thoughtful, intelligent and forward-thinking documents. No longer are they drafted only in marriages containing great wealth and/or great distrust. On the contrary, prenuptial agreements are now considered to be a tool in the kind of toolbox that builds healthy, happy marriages.

Prenuptial agreements can foster happy marriages by allowing engaged couples to sort out their financial tensions, differences and expectations before saying “I do.” In this way, these documents can help to ensure that couples fight far less about financial matters during divorce than they otherwise might. In addition, prenuptial agreements can lay the groundwork for a fair process in the event that couples should unexpectedly decide to divorce.

Before you sit down with an attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement, please contemplate the following basics of the process. First, you should generally draft an agreement well before your wedding takes place. If you execute the agreement too close to the wedding, the process could be viewed as coercive.

Second, you need to disclose all significant financial assets, debts and issues that may affect the validity of the agreement. Finally, you and your partner should retain independent attorneys to review the document before you sign it.

If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements, what you can stipulate within them, what information you must disclose when drafting them and how they may be enforced, please contact a family law attorney experienced in this area of law specifically.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Unpacking Prenuptial Agreements,” Caroline Choi, Jan. 31, 2014

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