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Tip: start negotiation process for marital agreement sooner rather than later

We have previously commented on this blog about the importance of taking the time and effort to get a prenuptial agreement right before entering into marriage. As we’ve said, failure to do so can result in the agreement being set aside, which can cost the couple extra time and money to sort things out in divorce.

There are various reasons prenuptial agreements can be invalidated in the divorce process. The grounds on which marital agreements can be set aside are defined by state statute, and generally include: failure to execute the agreement properly; failure to fully disclose one’s assets and debts; as well as coercion and duress. Court can also look at the fundamental fairness of the agreement. When something is awry in one or more of the areas, courts can take appropriate measures to remedy the problem, including throwing the agreement out. 

As a recent article in Forbes points out, it is critical to draft prenuptial agreements with precise language to ensure a court is not able to misconstrue the meaning of terms. Even one little word can make a big difference in the outcome of property division based on a prenuptial agreement.

One of the best precautions couples can do to ensure their agreement is carefully and accurately drafted is to begin the negotiation process well in advance of marriage. Waiting until the months of weeks leading up to marriage puts couples at risk of rushing into a decision and failing to adequately consider the agreement. The earlier couples get started, the more time they will each have to work with an experienced attorney to ensure their interests are protected in the agreement.

Source: Forbes, “How Key Portions Of Prenups And Postnups Can Be Invalidated,” Jeff Landers, October 16, 2014. 

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Tip: start negotiation process for marital agreement sooner rather than later | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC