When two people decide to come together in marriage, they begin a relationship on two separate yet intertwined levels. First, there is the personal relationship meant to be enriched by the bond that marriage creates. Second, there is the legal relationship that marriage inspires which is marked by the signing of a legal marriage contract. Though nearly every couple hopes that their union will withstand the tests of time, it is often advisable to consider executing prenuptial agreements to protect both parties in the event of divorce.
It is critical that in creating these documents, you seek the expertise of an experienced attorney. Failure to properly execute prenuptial agreements can create substantial headaches for everyone involved down the road. If a prenup is not properly drawn up and filed appropriately, it could be declared invalid by the court reviewing it in the event of divorce.
It is also important that you execute your prenup well in advance of your wedding day. Earlier this year a high-profile case ended when a New York appellate court deemed a prenuptial agreement invalid because the bride had been virtually forced to sign it less than a week before her wedding date. The court deemed the act fraudulent inducement of the bride.
In addition to executing the document in advance of the wedding date, it must be fairly balanced and each party must be fully informed and of sound mind before signing it. Failure to attend to any one of these factors may render your prenuptial agreement invalid in the end.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Shoring Up Your Prenup,” Kelly Greene, Mar. 29, 2013