Prenuptial agreements are a common practice, especially when it comes to modern day marriages. Writing up prenuptial agreements can help prevent a myriad of potential complications if divorce were ever to occur. Unfortunately, when it comes to drafting these terms, there is a strong potential for mistakes to appear in the document and it takes a meticulous lawyer to help make a challenge-proof prenuptial agreement. If there were ever a scenario that was not fully covered in the agreement, the divorce process could be prolonged since the court is not lawfully permitted to determine any parties’ intentions. Without a matrimonial lawyer’s intervention in the prenuptial agreement drafting process, couples run a much higher risk of this problem occurring. While no prenuptial agreement can be made entirely challenge-proof, certain precautions and proactive techniques can go a long way in preventing headaches down the road.
Before constructing a prenuptial agreement, couples should consider discussing and implementing the following plans beforehand:
- The non-monied spouse- or the partner with less income and resources- should be represented by an independent counsel so that no agreement looks forced upon by the monied spouse. Lawyers suggest that the monied spouse pays for the legal counsel and that the chosen lawyer is picked by the non-monied spouse.
- Financial disclosure from one partner to the other is critical. While it’s not required to divulge every detail regarding income, the non-monied spouse should still be provided with enough financial disclosure to prevent a possible claim of deceit for a lack of understanding.
- It is always best to include an integration or merger clause. This statement will finalize the prenuptial agreement and make it more of a contract. Any terms stated outside of the written document will not be deemed enforceable, no matter what the partner says.
While prenuptial agreements are powerful contracts that provide a peace of mind for newlyweds, they follow strict guidelines and take careful planning to execute. At Simonetti and Associates, our highly-accredited staff has been helping families residing in Nassau and Suffolk counties with legal advice for over 25 years. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!