Family Law Blog

The five biggest mistakes you can make with prenuptial agreements and how to avoid them

Sunday, July 21, 2019

couple making prenuptial agreement with lawyer

Bob Ross may have liked mistakes, as he called them "happy accidents." There's nothing happy about making mistakes with prenuptial agreements, though, so we'll cover the five biggest mistakes you can make, and how to steer clear of them. 

1. Letting your anger get the best of you 

There's a stigma on prenuptial agreements. We've all heard horror stories about people who signed them and ended up with nothing. It can be easy to get angry or upset when your beloved asks you to sign one;  after all, aren't you two supposed to be working towards happily ever after? 

If you don't take the time to really center yourself and consider why your partner may want a prenuptial agreement, then you may miss some important aspects of the agreement. Read it once you have calmly discussed it with your partner. You don't want to sign a binding legal contract that you couldn't understand because of your anger. 

2. Not taking the time to recognize your own bias

If you're the partner who wants the prenuptial agreement, you need to be clear about what your goals of the prenuptial agreement are. Have you accounted for the rising costs of childcare? What will child support look like ten years down the line? Are you truly protecting your partner or just yourself? 

A prenuptial agreement is put in place in order to protect you both should divorce become an issue. Be sure to discuss the agreement with your partner and take into account his or her wants and needs before you ask them to sign anything. Make it an ongoing conversation and be sure that both of you are truly satisfied with the results. 

3. Doing it without a lawyer 

People hire lawyers to write contracts for a reason. Without a legal expert to guide you in the process, you may miss something. You may forget to include important clauses or- worse- you may leave out assets entirely. You need to be honest with your attorney after you and your partner come to a consensus. 

Neglecting to hire a lawyer could land you even deeper in debt in the end. It's a small cost to protect you and your loved ones later down the line. Things happen. Couples grow apart. Treat this agreement like a safeguard and do it right. 

4. Neglecting to stand your ground

You love your fiance with all of your heart, so you want to make them happy. You'd sign your soul away if it meant you could live out your dreams of domestic bliss. That could land you in trouble. You could end up signing everything away. 

Keep yourself in mind first and foremost. Ask yourself if your needs and interests are being met. A marriage is a two-way street and a prenuptial agreement should be too. 

5. Making ridiculous demands

You can't tell your spouse you want a red car every other Christmas- a judge just won't accept it. There are reasonable and unreasonable demands in the eyes of the law. Mandating sex, housework, childcare and other provisions won't make for a good argument before a divorce judge. According to Pittsburgh Divorce and Family Law, a court may not even adhere to a prenuptial agreement when deciding custody of a child.

Focus on the important things, like financial assets. That is what is going to protect you and your family in the future. 

 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us.

Is Your Prenuptial Agreement Safe From Nullification?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

closeup of bride and groom holding hands

With all the uncertainty in the world, prenuptial agreements are becoming more standard in upcoming marriages. It is not that these agreements set guidelines for a marriage, but rather set a healthy foundation for what will hopefully be a lasting marriage. However, people change and a prenuptial agreement is meant to protect both parties. Yet, if you have one crafted, it is important to make sure it stands up to scrutiny. If you want to make sure your prenuptial agreement is protected from nullification, it is best to know the ways it can be nullified.

Verbal Agreements

Even if you have all the witnesses in the world, a verbal prenuptial agreement will never be legally binding. In essence, a verbal prenuptial agreement doesn't actually exist.

Invalid Provisions

Again, a prenuptial agreement is not a document on how both parties need to act in a marriage. In fact, by including such invalid provisions within, it can actually nullify the entire document.  Furthermore, if the circumstances of one or both parties have changed drastically, you may find that courts will not uphold a prenuptial agreement in which the terms have morphed into something grossly unfair.

Time Was a Factor

It is very important that when a prenuptial agreement is being drafted, you give your spouse an appropriate amount of time to read the document and sign it. If you finished drafting the document and pressured them into signing it that very same day, it could very well be your undoing. By proving there was pressure in signing or that there was not the adequate time given to read it, the courts may render it invalid.

False Information Was Included

Lies are neither something that helps build a healthy marriage nor will they work to your advantage in a prenuptial agreement. If it can be proven that you failed to disclose important information that would affect the prenuptial agreement and the terms set within, the courts could render the entire agreement invalid.

Are you crafting a prenuptial agreement for your upcoming marriage, or worse, challenging one from your dissolving marriage? We can help. Contact us today to see what the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra does for you.

Defining the Assets: Is a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Better?

Friday, September 21, 2018

people signing prenuptial agreement on table

While many may be familiar with prenuptial agreements and what they entail, postnuptial agreements are often a mystery to many. These agreements are actually the same thing, the difference being when you enter into them. A prenuptial agreement is something set before marriage while a postnuptial agreement is drafted up after the couples have already tied the knot.

While both agreements have their uses, you may wonder if it is better to get an agreement after you are already married or if you should do it before. In general, postnuptial agreements have their good uses, such as defining the care of any children that pop up or protecting yourself from a spouse developing addictions or problems with the law. However, in most cases, if you want a nuptial agreement, it is better to lay out a prenuptial agreement.

It is a common stereotype that prenuptial agreements often cause strife in a relationship. While it is not the case for every couple, it can be true. If you can't agree to the terms of a prenuptial agreement and your relationship isn't as strong as you thought, you simply can just not get married. The obvious downside of a postnuptial agreement is that if you don't agree, you are still married and would have to divorce in order to end the relationship.

Furthermore, in many cases, courts do not uphold postnuptial agreements as easily as they uphold prenuptial ones. You need to be very diligent in its drafting and signing in order for the courts to find it valid. It is because a postnuptial agreement is made during a marriage where it is difficult to walk away from that courts view them as less ironclad than prenuptial agreements.

If you are considering creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact us today to let us help you.

Had Children Before Marriage? You're Perfect for a Pre-Nup

Friday, March 16, 2018

To many couples looking towards marrying, a pre-nup is pretty close to a taboo word to bring up. Some feel like it is basically saying that there is a chance that your love might die and you want to plan for when it does. However, this may be true for couples that are planning to get married and officially start their lives, but not all commitments work that way. In many couples these days, often couples end up having children before they even think of marriage, and this makes them a perfect candidate for a pre-nup if they decide to tie the knot.

When you have children before marriage, it lends a certain amount of practicality and logistics to your relationship. You might want to provide better for your kids so you choose a smaller, cheaper wedding. You might understand that your marriage might not last, so you choose a pre-nup.

For many parents that choose to get married after they have children, they will always choose the route that is best for their children, and this includes if that marriage doesn't work out. By crafting a pre-nup when you are still very much in love, both sides of the couple can make decisions with a clear, unclouded head. In this pre-nup they can put certain provisions, such as terms for child custody inside that can make it so both parents get a fair split of not just the assets, but the children as well.

While many may tout "doing things out of order," it has been found that having children before getting married actually has a better chance of those marriages lasting since both sides tend to not look at their relationship through rose-colored glasses. If you are a couple that already has children and are looking to officially get married, but still want a pre-nup set in place, contact us today.

Should Social Media Be Included in a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We live in an increasingly changing world, and one of the major changes that wasn't really such a big deal ten years ago was social media. Just a few years in the past, couples may have laughed at the very thought of adding social media into their pre-nuptial agreement, but times have changed. Now social media is crucial for image management. What you put out there or what your spouse puts out there can come back to bite us in a very personal as well as professional way.

Adding clauses for social media into a pre-nuptial agreement may not be for everyone. However, there are many these days that use social media to foster a positive image of ourselves, and that needs to be maintained. People who come from prominent families have careers in the spotlight including everyone from movie stars to Twitch streamers with substantial followers, high-level executives, and even restaurateurs have an image to protect.

Adding clauses for social media into a pre-nuptial agreement can cover a wide array of different actions. This can include eliminating and not posting further negative reviews of competing businesses, topics addressed on social media (such as politics or religious views), tagging locations while out and about, access to the accounts by the other party in a marriage, or even guidelines for posting pictures of any future children. All of these clauses in a pre-nuptial agreement can work in a positive way to help protect the image of both parties. After all, what one spouse posts can highly affect the other's reputation.

If you are looking to craft a pre-nuptial agreement and want to address social media in it, contact us today. We often work with more traditional pre-nups, but the world is changing and we know that pre-nups need to change with it.


Four Reasons You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More and more marriages end in divorce. No matter how much you want your marriage to last forever, the odds may be against you. Because of this, prenuptial agreements are becoming popular.

Here are some reasons why you should have a prenuptial agreement (no matter how much you love the other person and don’t believe it will end).

  • Prenuptial agreements are there to protect you. Odds are against most marriages so if you have things that are valuable to you, you really need to protect yourself. It allows you to leave the marriage with what you came with. Your ex-spouse will not be able to take your valuables away from you. 
  • Prenuptial agreements are not just for rich people. If you (or your soon-to-be- spouse) have significant debt, a prenuptial agreement will protect each other. If there is still debt when you break up, you won’t have to pay your ex’s debt. He or she also will not be responsible for yours.
  • If you own a business, you need a prenuptial agreement. This will, not only ensure that the business stays in your name but will make sure that you get what you earn. It also goes the other way. If your business fails, your partner is protected against the loss.
  • Prenuptial agreements can also make divorce much easier. You will already know who is getting what in the event that you divorce so there will be less fighting. Couples with a relatively easy divorce are more likely to stay friends which is really important when there are children involved.

Though nobody wants to think about their marriage ending (especially right before the wedding), odds are that your marriage may not last. For this reason, it is important to have a prenuptial agreement in place. It will protect you and your soon-to-be-spouse.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Do Digital Assets Fit Into a Prenuptial Agreement?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

In these modern, constantly connected times, the way we interact with each other has changed. Relationships are celebrated through technology and sometimes started because of it. Sharing a Netflix password may be a show of trust and having something like a joint iTunes account could be a display of how serious a relationship has gotten. However, not all relationships last, so can a prenuptial agreement that safeguards your other assets also safeguard your digital ones as well?

It may sound silly, but including digital assets into a prenup or postnup is becoming more important as technology continues to grow. Digital assets that you can and should include in your prenuptial agreement include photography, audiovisual media, word documents, and e-mail. By putting in clauses on who can keep this digital media, it can help you retain ownership as well as a certain degree of digital security if a marriage dissolves. This is especially important if couples often share devices so no matter who retains ownership of it, they are not completely privileged to keep everything on the device. Imagine if you lost your next great American novel just because it was on your spouse's computer? It would be tragic.

Another important factor to consider is digital assets purchased for a specific platform. iTunes is a good example of this since you can't transfer media bought on that account to another. If you use platforms like this, it will save a lot of potential pain later by stating who gets ownership of it. Sometimes this might be a clause of one person getting ownership and the other getting compensation for the media contributed to it.

If you are drafting up a prenuptial agreement and aren't sure how your digital assets fit into it, contact us today.

Is A Prenuptial Agreement Right For You?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Is a prenup the right thing for you? 

"Well, um...er..."

We get it.

Talking to your future spouse about creating and signing a prenuptial agreement is not romantic in the least. However, the lack of romance doesn't make the idea any less important when it comes to protecting your legal and financial rights. 

Prenuptial Agreement=Divorce Insurance

Just as you don't want to think about your loving relationship ending in divorce, you don't want to think about your life ending in a terrible accident or illness that leaves your spouse and kids without the resources necessary to carry on. That's why you buy life insurance. In that vein, a prenuptial agreement is protection against something going wrong. Like life insurance, you hope you never need it but can have peace-of-mind knowing it's there. 

What Can a Prenup Do? 

A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can: 

  • Protect your property, including property acquired during the course of your marriage
  • Prevent future court costs
  • Protect you from taking on legal responsibility for a spouse's debt
  • Provide an opportunity to resolve potential issues now before they arise


What a Prenup Can't Do

Not all family law issues can be resolved within the language of a prenuptial agreement. For example, a prenup cannot decide child custody issues or settle disputes about how to raise them. 

If a prenuptial agreement sounds like something you could benefit from, speaking to an experienced family law attorney is the next step in the process. Contact us anytime to schedule a consultation.

Four Common Reasons To Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

Friday, September 30, 2016

Though no one wants to envision their happy marriage ending in divorce, the statistics show otherwise. Many marriages end in divorce. Since many people truly believe that their marriage is going to last, they don’t want to bother with a prenuptial agreement. However, no matter how much you think it is going to work, you should sign an agreement before you get married.

Here are some of the most common reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement.

  • One person is much wealthier than the other. It doesn’t matter if one of you started off the marriage much richer or their career is going to skyrocket, you should protect your assets, just in case.
  • One person is in a lot of debt. Though you are going to work together to pay off the debt, you shouldn’t have to be stuck with their debt if the marriage ends.
  • Someone is remarrying. After your first marriage, your life will get much more complicated. Whether or not you have children from your first marriage, you still want to make sure that your first family will get their share of the money if something would happen to you.
  • You or your soon-to-be spouse owns a business. Unless you want to lose part of your business to your spouse if the marriage ends, you need to protect all of the hard work that you put into your business by signing a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement does not mean that you don’t want your marriage to work. Instead, it is there to protect you, just in case. You should protect your money, business, and any other family members. You also don’t want to be saddled with someone else’s debt if the marriage ends.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

How To Talk About Prenuptial Agreements

Friday, August 26, 2016

Most people have heard that it is bad luck for a groom to see the bride before a wedding ceremony, but it is almost as if a new superstition was created for prenuptial agreements as some people think bringing these legal documents up is a bad sign. Talking to your fiance about a prenup may be difficult but necessary, so here is some advice for starting a discussion about prenuptial agreements.

Laying The Groundwork

One of the biggest reasons couples get divorced is money, which partners often have trouble discussing. Serious conversations about finances may be unpleasant but can be crucial to having a successful union, so take the time to learn about your future spouse's spending habits, views about money and financial goals.

Confront Fears

While it is understandable that you might feel hesitant to bring it up, you may both share concerns about what will happen if a divorce is necessary. Talking about this and planning lets you both feel comfortable.

Honesty Policy

Tell the truth about why you want a prenup so that your partner can understand your perspective. If you are trying to think practically or something influenced your views about prenups, let your partner know.

Try Again

A marriage takes compromise, and this might start before the wedding takes place. If your partner is against a prenup, give it some time before revisiting the issue. A mediator could also help you both communicate and reach a conclusion you both support.

Contact us so that we can help you if you are considering a prenuptial agreement.