How Do I Avoid Common Missteps When Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement?
Family Lawyer Rockville, MD
The excitement associated with getting engaged is often far-reaching. If you have recently become engaged, you have likely experienced the effects of this phenomenon. Your loved ones are probably thrilled for you, as are your colleagues, and even strangers you meet along the way. Many may be offering you advice at this time. While some of it is solicited, plenty of unsolicited advice may be coming your way, as well.
While your focus is on preparing for your special day, you may overlook the importance of the legal matters involved. Although it may seem somewhat taboo to bring talks of a prenuptial agreement into the situation, a family lawyer Rockville MD can tell you that it only makes good sense to protect your rights and best interests. Heaven forbid that you lose your loving relationship to divorce. However, circumstances change, and life throws curveballs, so you’re better safe than sorry.
Preparing for your special day
Understandably, most of the excitement about your decision to set that special date centers on your wedding and honeymoon. Before you rush into planning your day of romantic festivities all too fast, though, you and your future spouse must take some time to prepare for the legal realities of marriage.
Too few engaged couples put in the time and effort required to prepare for the legal changes associated with their marriage. Although most of the changes that come as you transition from a single individual to a married individual are emotional and practical, the legal side of getting married deserves significant attention, as well. As a newly married couple, you and your future spouse will be given specific rights under the law, and these will also entail multiple legal responsibilities. One of the ways you can prepare for these new rights and responsibilities is through drafting a prenuptial agreement.
Drafting a Strong, Enforceable Prenuptial Agreement
It is essential to understand that the very act of preparing a prenuptial agreement can help to ensure that you never need to use it. More and more couples are coming to recognize that setting their expectations for marriage and working through their issues in enforceable ways through a prenuptial agreement helps them to avoid preventable tensions in the future. Drafting a prenuptial agreement now may help to ensure and sustain the strength and longevity of your marriage later on.
It is essential to leave plenty of time before the marriage takes place to work with a family law attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are not generally enforceable if they are drafted and/or signed unreasonably close to a couple’s wedding day. Proper timing helps to avert the appearance of coercion having taken place.
It is also essential that each spouse consults with their own attorney individually. Separate attorneys can help to ensure that the terms of the contract are both fair and generally enforceable for both partners. Consulting with an attorney is critical because the area of law that governs prenups is ever-evolving, and an attorney is best placed to identify and explain what may and may not be included in terms of such an agreement from a legal perspective.
Prenuptial agreements can be drafted that meet the specific needs of the couple involved and may define ownership of things such as:
- Cash and bank accounts
- Stocks, bonds, notes, annuities, pensions, and other investments
- Real estate
- Automobiles, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trailers, airplanes, motor homes, and other vehicles
- Appliances, yard machines, electronic equipment, etc.
- Jewelry and collectibles
- Recreation and sports equipment
- Trade tool and equipment
- Life insurance
- Business ownerships and interests
- Joint property list
- Expense payment schedule
Legal Assistance Is Recommended
If you and your future spouse are interested in drafting a prenuptial agreement, please do not hesitate to connect with a family lawyer Rockville, MD, such as Daniel J. Wright. Remember, it can take time to iron out the details and terms of the prenuptial agreement. And, because it is essential for future spouses to sign their finalized prenuptial agreement in a reasonable time frame in advance of the wedding, you should consider reaching out to a family law attorney as soon as you can. Ensuring that you leave enough time to navigate this process properly can help to ensure both its success and your peace of mind.