When you are looking for information about prenuptial agreements, chances are it won’t be long until see you articles about multi-million dollar celebrity prenups or hear horror stories of ridiculous clauses that spurred lengthy court battles when it came time to enforce them.
It can be easy to think that these situations are common; that prenuptial agreements are little more than a way to set rules, draw lines in the sand and ultimately pit two people against each other. However, that is certainly not the way it needs to be. A prenuptial agreement, like any other legal document, is in place to protect individual parties, and it doesn’t have to be a dramatic event.
To begin with, the parties should be on equal footing when it comes to creating and signing a prenup. It should not be one person drawing it up and making the other person sign it. In fact, if one person is coerced into signing or is not given the opportunity to review it with his or her own lawyer, it can be grounds to dismiss all or part of the document.
Additionally, a prenup should not include clauses that address things like personal preferences in the relationship. Clauses that address things like appearance, household chores and other aspects of married life make it more likely that the entire agreement would be ultimately challenged and be invalid..
Finally, a prenuptial agreement should not be a big surprise to either party. Making an effort to discuss finances and separate assets can be difficult, but it will also allow both people to be open and honest about the future. Having this discussion with some legal support and guidance can also help you stay focused on the task at hand and not stray into overly-emotional battlegrounds. Too many couples never discuss financial issues prior to marriage – this often leads to unnecessary turmoil between spouses.
Many couples have found that choosing the mediation or the collaborative practice process is a more respectful way to facilitate open and frank discussion of what should or should not be in the prenup. Having a neutral setting for this discussion creates open and respectful communications and bodes well for a successful marriage.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement but are hesitant because you don’t want it to be a dramatic nightmare, you should understand that it does not have to be. The attorneys at our firm can help you see the options for approaching this topic and can guide you toward a peaceful and mutually agreeable solution. For information on how we may be able to help you, please visit our website.