Prenuptial agreements are often used to decide how current and future monetary assets, property and the home will be split between spouses in the event of divorce or death of one spouse.harry teichman with Mansouri Law Offices says, “Prenuptial agreements are not necessarily about the two people who are getting married. Often, they are about the other important persons in the lives of the engaged couple, as well. More specifically a prenuptial agreement can be viewed as legal contract that is signed by both parties prior to their marriage outlining each party’s debts, rights, assets, money and property.” These agreements are also referred to as “premarital agreements” or, and more commonly abbreviated as “prenups”.
In most states, a prenuptial agreement is valid by a divorce court if it meets some criterion. First and foremost, it must be a written agreement as oral agreements are not recognized in many divorce courts. It should be notarized and formal, to reduce the risk of a court not to validate the document.
Another aspect that it should meet to gain recognition in a divorce court is that, it must be voluntarily signed by both parties. If the court realizes that one party coerced the other party forcefully into signing, the court has an option of dishonoring it. It must contain a full and fair disclosure of all the assets owned by both parties. Concealing debt details on the document can lead to dismissal of the agreement by divorce court. It must be conscionable, that is, it should not have excessive penalties or benefits for one party. jenny henley, an attorney gives us an idea, “The total short term costs in case of a DUI can start from $2000 and can go as high as $10000. A divorce, can cost you a lot more than that. You could even lose your kids without a proper defense.”
Finally, the agreement must be signed by both parties in the notary public. A lawyer can be involved in drafting of the agreement, but the spouses must sign it. These are some of the requirements that a prenuptial agreement should have for it to be recognized in most divorce courts.
The following is a list of what to include when drafting a prenuptial agreement with your lawyer.
· You and your spouse’s debt and asset division
· Protect one party from certain debts
· Maintaining separate assets and finances
· Distribution of property to children and other important people from earlier marriages
· Managing money, handling credit, bill payment, tax filings and handling credit cards
· Keeping certain items within a family
To wrap up the loose ends, it is imperative to mention that prenuptial agreements do not outline financial matters, custody agreements or child support. In addition, some of them can include a clause indicating the expiration date of the agreement after certain years of marriage, which is known as a “sunset clause”.