What Is a Prenuptial Agreement Review?
Before marriage, a prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement or simply “prenup,” helps couples divide assets, establish property rights, designate child support, and have an uncontested divorce.
Although no couple plans to divorce when they marry, anything can happen, and it can pay to be prepared. Planning your married life together can include discussing what happens if you and your spouse decide to separate.
A prenuptial agreement helps you and your partner avoid unnecessary, painful conflict by arranging divorce terms that you agree upon now when you are both in good standing.
It is important to note that a prenuptial agreement is not the same as a post-nuptial or separation agreement. Prenups are signed before marrying, and separation agreements are signed after a couple agrees to divorce legally.
Here is an article that defines prenuptial agreement and explains its importance when dealing with financial issues after divorce.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Many couples adopt an almost superstitious approach to signing a prenuptial agreement. They believe that by doing so, they’re expressing doubt about the strength of their relationship or trust in their partner. However, even the happiest couples can decide they are no longer as happy together as they once were.
Divorce can be a mutual and even amicable decision. As such, prenuptial agreements allow couples to extend love and care toward one another so they do not face more stress, arguments, and duress during a separation.
Here are some of the pros and cons of signing a prenuptial agreement:
Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement
- Clear division of assets. This agreement can help couples separate their assets, such as businesses, real estate, and even pets. While many divorcing couples may fight over property rights, a prenuptial agreement can enforce automatic property rights that make separation easier.
- Protect children. You can arrange child support and custody in a prenup without going through the court. It can also help ensure that children receive assets their parent wants them to have, rather than automatically transferring them to a spouse in the event of death.
- Lower the cost of a divorce. While the average prenuptial agreement cost is several hundred dollars, a divorce without a prenup can cost several thousand. Between lawyer fees, alimony, and settlement costs, leaving a marriage can be far more expensive than entering one.
Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement
- It can negatively affect a partner's feelings. One party may feel hurt by the other’s request to sign a prenuptial agreement. They may feel their fiancé does not trust them or believe their marriage will end in the future.
- It can lead to disagreements before marriage. Deciding who keeps what in a divorce can lead to conflict among couples, especially if they have differing opinions about each other’s rights. In some cases, prenups may favor one spouse’s financial security if they enter the relationship with more money and other assets.
- This may lead to unpleasant thoughts before the wedding. Couples planning to wed are filled with excitement and joy about their future. The last thing they want to discuss is what happens if they no longer wish to be married. Many couples avoid premarital agreements because they create negative emotions.
Here is an article with more pros and cons of a prenup to consider.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Be Broken?
Prenups are valid, legally binding contracts between married partners. However, you can mutually dissolve your agreement together. You can also nullify or void a prenup by contesting it with a lawyer if terms are illegal in your state or unconscionable by law.
Unconscionable in legal terms refers to arrangements in a contract that are imbalanced or oppressive to one party. For example, sometimes, a prenup may deny a partner alimony they are legally entitled to or waive a person’s requirement to pay child support. In these cases, the court may find the document invalid and unlawful, so they void it in court.
Here is an article that covers five reasons why a prenup may be considered invalid.
What Percentage of Married Couples Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
Nearly half of American couples divorce and recent data shows that prenups are increasingly popular among adults in their 20s and 30s. A survey of divorce attorneys by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that premarital agreements have risen by 62% in recent years.
Here is an article that explores why more couples are getting prenups and how having one could benefit your relationship.
Who Can Review a Prenuptial Agreement?
An estate planning attorney or business or contract lawyer could help you draft and review a prenuptial agreement. These professionals all know how to write valid legal documents that protect both partners' best interests and legal rights.
Ultimately, their goal is to help you enter a stronger union with a more profound respect for one another. Signing a prenup can build more trust by showing you both have no desire to do the other harm through separation or divorce.
Here is an article with ContractsCounsel’s guide on finding the best lawyer for your prenuptial agreement review.
Why Should You Get a Prenuptial Agreement Reviewed?
Although you can write a prenup yourself, a lawyer is the only one who can review it and deem it legally valid. Therefore, ensuring that your premarital agreement respects all of the marriage and divorce laws in your governing state is important.
Even if both parties agree to the terms and conditions of an agreement, it may not be legally enforceable if it does not comply with their state’s regulations.
Working with an attorney ensures your prenup is valid.
Here is an article with more information on how to write a prenup.
How Do You Validate a Prenuptial Agreement?
Both parties must write, sign, and date a prenuptial agreement. No states recognize oral prenups as valid. Both parties must have also fully detailed and revealed their financial assets and liabilities in the document.
A lawyer can review the signing of your prenup and keep a copy on file in their firm. Besides being mutually agreed upon, the most important requirement is having all of your assets laid out in detail. Hiding information in an agreement could cause it to be nullified in a future divorce.
Here is an article with everything you need to know about planning for a prenup.
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