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. 

 

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