The proliferation of reality shows and pop culture news have arguably made prenuptial agreements a mainstream phenomenon. For the uninitiated, a prenuptial agreement is basically a contract where couples agree to follow certain terms and conditions in the event of a divorce. Prenups are commonly used to narrow the issues when it comes to property division, so there are fewer arguments over what can be considered marital property as opposed to separate property.
So if you are considering a prenup, here are some basic things to be aware of before signing.
Broad discretion is allowed – Parties are free to include just about anything in their prenups, including provisions on weight control, the amount of time in-laws can stay in the home, an even infidelity penalties. However, a prenup cannot dictate what may be paid in child support should the parties split up. This determination must be reached by a family court judge.
Full disclosure must be given – Both parties must fully disclose all of their assets and debts to the other party. Failure to do this may result in the prenup being invalidated if it is challenged later on. This could be critical if the prenup includes strict guidelines on spousal support or property division that favors one party over another.
Both parties must be willing – Prenuptial agreements must be signed without any undue pressure or stress imposed. The closer to the wedding a prenup is signed the more likely it could be challenged due to the question of duress.
If you have additional questions, and experienced family law attorney can help.