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The Four Elements of a Legally Sound Prenup

Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

More couples these days choose to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. This is not because they expect to get a divorce, but simply because they understand that a prenup is a great tool for setting out their expectations for the union and, hopefully, for mitigating future issues. However, a prenuptial agreement does not do any good if it is not legally binding. At the Dallas Clark Law Group our prenuptial agreement attorneys advise couples on how to create legally sound prenuptial agreement. If you and your future spouse are interested in creating a premarital contract, reach out to our legal team for guidance on creating a prenup that suits each of your needs.

Four Essential Elements of a Prenuptial Agreement

While every couple is going to have different ideas about what their prenup should involve, the strongest premarital contracts include the following four elements:

  • The Prenup is Well Thought Out: Prenuptial agreements that are drafted and signed at the last minute, as in days before the wedding, are bound to present problems down the road. Last minute premarital contracts often include invalid provisions and typically will not hold up in court if challenged.
  • Both Parties are Adequately Represented: In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must be voluntarily signed. The best way to ensure that the agreement is mutual is for each party to consult their own separate lawyers regarding the provisions. A lawyer can thoroughly educate a client on the implications of the provisions, and ensure that he or she understands what the legalese really says.
  • The Prenup is Fair: The greatest misconception about prenuptial agreements is that you can use them to stipulate things like, 'If we get divorced, you do not get any of my money,' or 'If we get divorced, I get to keep the house.' The reality is that these types of provisions are illegal, and will not be honored by a judge in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements must be reasonable, and above all, fair.
  • The Prenup Should Represent Reality: A prenuptial agreement will not be legally binding if one or both parties fails to reveal all of their assets. One of the greatest benefits of a prenuptial agreement is that it allows each party to protect the assets they brought into the marriage. However, those assets cannot be protected if they are hidden upon the creation and signing of the agreement. Additionally, a judge might interpret the failure to disclose assets as fraud and determine the whole agreement to be invalid because of it.

The point of a prenuptial agreement is to serve the best interest of both parties in the event of a divorce. If the prenup is not fairly written, or favors one party's interest over the other, it is not doing its job and is therefore, invalid. Because of this, it is important to seriously consider the implications of the entire agreement before signing anything.

Consult a Dallas Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

At the Clark Law Group, our goal is to help future newlyweds start their marriage off on the right foot. A prenuptial agreement is a great tool to help them do just that. If you and your future spouse have significant assets and want to protect those assets in the event of a divorce, reach out to our family lawyers at 469-906-2266 to schedule your confidential consultation today.

(image courtesy of Brooks Cagle)

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