Do I need a Prenup? Q&A
- What is a prenuptial agreement? Is it something I should do before I marry?
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by two spouses prior to the marriage that helps prevent future issues. Thus, if you have one and you decide to divorce your spouse, many of the issues that are brought up in court may already be resolved within the agreement. It is completely up to you if you choose to have one before you marry. Keep in mind that they tend to be more common where there is more money at stake.
- Are there any requirements for a prenuptial agreement?
Yes. You will want to make sure you and your spouse sign the agreement. Additionally, both you and your spouse need to enter into the agreement voluntarily. Further, it is important that your spouse is provided with a fair and reasonable disclosure of the possible property and finances. A person cannot enter into a prenuptial agreement without knowledge of these details.
- What can my spouse and I agree to within the prenuptial agreement?
A spouse and his/her spouse can contract to almost anything ranging from property to personal rights. The only limit on what can be contracted is that it cannot violate public policy or any criminal laws.
- Are there items that cannot be included in the prenuptial agreement?
In addition to what is stated above, keep in mind that spousal maintenance may still be ordered despite there being an agreement to eliminate it. The court will usually order it if the other spouse is eligible for public assistance. Further, child support cannot be affected. This means that the parties cannot agree to eliminate all of child support without good reason. Additionally, courts have held that any agreement that relates to religion and the children tend to not have an effect in custody proceedings. The court may order outside of the agreement.
- Can I revoke the prenuptial agreement after it has been signed?
Yes. However, it is not simple to do so. Any prenuptial agreement can be amended or revoked. It needs to be agreed to and signed by both parties in order to do so. Without the signature there will need to be a valid reason why the agreement should be revoked. For example, you would need to show that you were not disclosed all property and finances of your spouse.
- Can prenuptial agreements include people outside of my children and spouse?
Yes. Third parties can be involved in prenuptial agreements. For example there could be agreements that the future spouse will provide financial support to his future stepchildren.
- What important sections should be included in the prenuptial agreement?
You will want to make sure that you include the “recitals,” which is the basic introductory information and the desires of the parties. You will then want to include the agreements between the parties. It is also a good idea to get the prenuptial agreement notarized. This eliminates the possibility of any chance that a spouse may deny entering into the agreement.