A prenuptial agreement is often the last thing an engaged couple wants to think about as they’re tasting wedding cakes and drafting their vows. However, it is a valuable tool that everyone should consider before getting married.
A prenup allows you and your future spouse to make sure both of you are taken care in the unpleasant event of a divorce. It also gives you an opportunity to make sure your financial interests are protected no matter what happens to your marriage.
However, not every prenup is enforceable and some may be the subject of litigation. There are several common mistakes to avoid that may help ensure your agreement holds up in court:
Don’t forget that a prenuptial agreement is a legal contract just like any other. It must adhere to the principles of contract law and satisfy several formalities.
Don’t try to write anything illegal into your prenup. That violates contract law and may result in your agreement being modified or thrown out altogether.
Don’t spring a prenuptial agreement on your spouse-to-be at the altar or do anything else that makes him or her feel coerced to sign. If an agreement is signed “under duress” it is invalid.
Don’t try to write in any requirements for sex or chores. These are usually not enforceable and may cast a pall over other, valid parts of your agreement. Some things are better left out of a contract.
Lastly, don’t use a prenuptial agreement to address issues of child custody or support. While you may feel that you and your spouse are on the same page about these matters you may find yourselves of differing opinions should the marriage come to an end. Matters involving children usually must be determined by a court, which will consider the best interests of the children.
If you are considering getting married, it is always wise to have an experienced attorney review your agreement to make sure there are no hidden provisions that could hurt you down the road. Consider getting in touch with an experienced family law attorney who can protect your rights and help you set yourself and your new family up for success.