A good lawyer -- well, two lawyers, actually -- will ensure that your prenup fits your needs and stands up well to challenges.
The law considers marriage a contract between two people. Unless the married couple creates a legally binding agreement that states otherwise, the law in the state where parties live will govern property rights. A prenuptial agreement, also called a premarital agreement, or a prenup for short, allows a couple to set the terms of property rights for their marriage. There are many reasons to hire a prenup lawyer. Below you will find a discussion of the role a prenup lawyer can play for you.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer to Make a Prenup
Under state law, each spouse receives automatic property rights unless a legally enforceable agreement states otherwise. For example, spouses share ownership of some property acquired during the marriage and both have the right to manage and control the property. If one spouse dies or the parties divorce, state law dictates the disposition of the property. If the parties wish to divide the property differently, it is necessary to create a prenup. Here are some common reasons for making a prenup:
Why Hire a Lawyer When Making a Prenup
To avoid a court from declaring a prenup invalid, it is advisable to hire two lawyers to represent the interests of both parties. While neither party is required to have legal representation, courts are cautious about enforcing a prenuptial agreement signed by a party that did not have independent legal representation. In this situation, especially if the prenup seems unfair to the party without legal representation, a court may invalidate the prenup.
Drafting a Prenup
Before drafting a prenup with a lawyer, a couple should have a clear understanding of what to include in the agreement. Creating an outline of the terms is an effective way to create a fair agreement. Each party should also fully report their income and assets, which will satisfy the requirement that each party made full disclosure of their finances.
An experienced lawyer has knowledge of the type of terms prohibited from inclusion in a prenup. Although every state has different laws, a prenup typically cannot include:
Contact a Family Lawyer Before You Sign That Prenup
If you and your future partner are considering a prenuptial agreement, you likely have many questions surrounding the laws and different terms you may encounter. Making sure it is a valid agreement is also extremely important. Protect your best interests by having a family law attorney review your prenuptial agreement and provide sound advice.