5 Common Prenuptial Agreement Mistakes to Avoid
Prenuptial or premarital agreements are written contracts created by couples before they get married. They outline a list of each person’s assets and debts and specify their property rights after marriage.
While traditionally believed to be agreements for the wealthy and asset-rich, they are also recommended for people to enjoy debt protection, financial clarity, and argument avoidance. If you’re starting to explore your premarital agreement options, try your best to avoid making some of the following mistakes.
Not Making the Decision Under DuressA prenuptial agreement should be a contract you create with the permission and support of your significant other. If you make it without their input or coerce them into signing it, they may have grounds for rendering it unenforceable due to it being created under duress. If creating a prenuptial agreement is important to you, communicate with your spouse during its creation with a family lawyer so that you’re both in agreement about what it contains.
Not Meeting Your Contractual ObligationsA prenuptial agreement is not altogether different from other contracts. It contains terms you must meet, and failure to meet those terms could make the contract void. One of the biggest mistakes you might make regarding a prenuptial agreement is doing things that void the agreement and affect both parties. An example could be if you agreed to sell your shared home in a divorce but fought to keep it when a divorce eventuated.
Plans for Child CustodyWhile ensuring your children are well taken care of in a divorce is essential, a prenuptial agreement is generally not the proper legal avenue for this information. Child custody provisions are rarely allowed in prenuptial agreements, and the same goes for child support. You usually cannot pre-plan child support provisions. These must be arranged separately and sometimes with the help and guidance of a child custody lawyer.
Waiving Alimony Payment RequirementsOne of the significant drawcards of signing a prenuptial agreement is to protect your financial interests. A natural extension of this might be to agree to provide or receive no alimony. However, depending on where you live, you might not be able to include such a restriction. Check with your lawyer to learn more about alimony requirements and whether you can or can’t reference them in your legal document.
Letting Your Emotions Impact Your JudgmentYou and your spouse might have made the mutual decision to create a premarital agreement, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a stressful process. You both might have different views about plans for debts and assets, and this might cause some tension and stress you didn’t anticipate. If that happens, don’t be afraid to step away from the process and take a breather. You might also see the value in hiring a lawyer to be the neutral party during the document’s creation.
Creating a prenuptial agreement might be one of the most sensible decisions you make in your marriage, but it’s not without its challenges. By being aware of some of the most common mistakes people make, you might be better positioned to avoid making them yourself.
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