If you and your fiance are among the growing group of people who want to protect yourselves if a divorce happens by executing a prenuptial agreement before you get married, you should take pride in the fact that you’re making a very rational decision. However, simply executing a prenuptial agreement now doesn’t inherently prevent you from a contested divorce in the future.
If you fail to create a legally sound and enforceable agreement, the result could well be that the courts refuse to uphold the agreement and will instead expect you to litigate your divorce. Planning carefully when creating a prenuptial agreement can help ensure you don’t fall victim to this potential pitfall.
Your document should protect both people
One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating a prenuptial agreement is focusing only on protection for one spouse. Both spouses should benefit from the contract. If only one spouse benefits from the prenuptial agreement, the courts may rule that it is unconscionable and refuse to uphold it.
You need to disclose your assets and debts in full
People sometimes attempt to hide valuable assets from their spouse or fiance because they don’t want the other party to make a claim against that asset in the future. However, you must disclose your separate property as part of the prenuptial agreement process or risk the invalidation of the document. Hidden assets mean that you would not provide full disclosure, which means that your spouse didn’t enter into the contract with full knowledge of its implications.
You need to avoid illegal inclusions and basic mistakes
Another easy way to invalidate your prenuptial agreement during its creation is to include terms that the state simply won’t enforce. An example is a clause waiving child support obligations in the event of a divorce. A parent cannot waive a benefit intended for a child on behalf of the child.
If you include something potentially illegal, like a child support waiver, the courts could ignore that clause or throw out the whole document. Finally, ensure you have adequate legal reviews for the prenuptial agreement, as something as simple as missing initials or signatures could leave you without a valid prenuptial agreement when you need it.