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Things to know before drafting and executing a prenuptial agreement: part III

In our last blog post, we discussed how a prenuptial agreement can be used to help protect financial interests an individual brings to a marriage or inherits during a marriage in the event he or she subsequently divorces.

In this final post of our series on prenuptial agreements, we'll focus on the legal aspects and requirements when it comes to a prenup’s preparation and execution. Individuals who fail to abide by these requirements could encounter difficulty when seeking to enforce a prenup and, in some cases, these types of errors may result in a prenup being deemed invalid.

 

Upon drafting a prenuptial agreement, each respective spouse needs to secure independent legal counsel. An attorney can aid in ensuring the terms of a prenuptial agreement help protect an individual's financial interests and that such terms are not unfair, inaccurate or unenforceable. Additionally, an attorney will ensure that proper procedures are followed with regard to the execution of a prenuptial agreement. For example, a prenup must be in writing and each party must have adequate time to read, review and consider the agreement prior to its execution which must occur prior to a couple's legal union.

If it's later discovered that provisions included in the prenup were inaccurate, untrue or unfair; a judge may decide the document is not enforceable. For example, in cases where the terms of an agreement are heavily slanted to favor one spouse's financial interests over the others, a judge may deem the agreement unconscionable and therefore unenforceable.

For couples who are planning to wed, a prenuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and a roadmap for one's future financial security in the event of a marriage ends. It's important, however, to consult with an attorney who can ensure such a document is prepared and executed correctly.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," 2014

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