This time of year is my favorite season — and sometimes I refer to it as Prenup Season. Why? Couples planning to tie the knot this spring or summer may be considering a prenup. I also posted a quick video here on the topic.
Here are three tips for the betrothed who want a prenuptial agreement:
- The sooner, the better. As a general rule, I tell my clients that prenups should be signed three months before the wedding, or before the wedding invitations go out. There’s no law that says this, but it is a best practice that strengthens the document. That’s because a prenup is invalid when one party is pressured to sign it, and bringing it up close to the date of the wedding is a form of pressure. A court looking at it may conclude that the prenup is invalid as a result. We want to make sure that the prenup is signed well ahead of the wedding day.
- Both sides need to be represented by separate counsel. Separate counsel is necessary because attorneys like me don’t even take on prenuptial agreements. In the event that the other party refuses to retain counsel, this helps the court see that there is no undue influence, and both parties signed it knowingly and voluntarily. Their signatures signify that they understand the rights that they have under the terms of the prenuptial agreement.
- Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous. When you walk down the aisle and say “I do,” you are forming a contract with terms that are given to you under your state’s jurisdiction. Prenuptial agreements allow you to actually “tweak” the terms of that contract to fit your needs. And who knows, maybe one day you will be rich and famous.
You don’t lose anything when you enter a prenup — you gain flexibility. Throughout the process and afterwards, you never lose your autonomy or the right to make decisions about the terms of your life.
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