Four Important Elements of a Strong Prenup

Four Important Elements of a Strong Prenup

Have you ever seen one of those reality TV shows where one partner insists on a prenup and the other partner refuses to sign it until 10 minutes before the wedding? Actually, one of the important elements of a strong prenup is avoiding this kind of situation.  Discussing prenups with your spouse should be one of the first steps.

  • It’s important that a prenup not look as if there was duress involved. A prenup signed the day before a wedding—or 10 minutes before the wedding—doesn’t look as if there was adequate discussion and total agreement between two parties. Such a prenup is in danger of being found invalid if it’s challenged later. It may make for dramatic TV, but in real life it’s best to avoid situations like this.
  • Both parties in a prenup should have adequate counsel. In some states, this is even a factor in deciding whether or not the agreement was voluntary. Adequate counsel for both parties gives both parties an opportunity to think about the implications of the prenup and to decide how acceptable each of the provisions is. Discussing the prenup with a lawyer also ensures both parties understand what the legalese really says.
  • The prenup should represent reality. This involves detailed financial statements from both partners. If either or both partners own a business, the financials of the business should also be disclosed. Failure to disclose assets may be interpreted as fraud if prenup comes under scrutiny later.

A prenup that in the event of a divorce leaves one party rich and the other party on welfare is not going to be smiled on if there comes a time to enforce the provisions of the prenup. There’s a high likelihood that provisions that are too draconian will be ignored. If one spouse is dependent, the most effective prenup will make reasonable provisions for that spouse. Calculating assistance based on the length of the marriage is one good way of doing so.

In general, a strong prenup should be fair to both parties and should be thoroughly reviewed by both parties. A prenup that’s fair and that’s clearly written to serve the interest of both parties is a strong basis for a happy new marriage. If you have questions or need assistance creating a prenuptial agreement, we can help. Contact us today to learn more!

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