Prenuptial agreements are akin to insurance policies. Hopefully the agreement is not needed, but in the event that it is you want to be sure that the agreement will perform as expected. A weak prenuptial agreement can result in litigation and may not withstand a legal challenge. This risk can be mitigated by putting together a strong prenuptial agreement from the very start.
Three tips to help better ensure that your prenup agreement is solid include:
- Fairness. The agreement is less likely to be challenged in the first place if it is fair. A recent publication in the New York Law Journal discussed this requirement, noting that many statutes require the prenuptial agreement be “fair and reasonable at the time of the making of the agreement and… not unconscionable at the time of entry of final judgment.”
- Disclosure. It cannot be stressed enough: do not attempt to hide assets when putting together a prenuptial agreement. Although complete disclosure of every single asset is generally not necessary, both parties should be provided with enough information to have an understanding of the impact of the agreement.
- Counsel. Each party should have independent legal counsel review the proposal. It is often acceptable for one spouse to pay for the other’s legal representation. However, if this is the case it may be wise to include some language within the document stating that the recipient chose his or her counsel and was satisfied with the provided representation.
Putting in the effort to craft a prenuptial agreement can save you from unnecessary headaches in the future by increasing the likelihood that the document will be valid if it is needed in the future. As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced prenuptial agreement lawyer to provide guidance and help craft the prenuptial agreement that is right for your situation.