You’ve already considered whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you, and you think it is. As a small business owner, you want to protect your business and your assets. A marriage ending is one thing, but you don’t want it to also put an end to your career path or set you back years as your property gets divided.
That’s a good place to begin, but just knowing that you want to use a prenup is not necessarily enough. You also have to make sure that it’s really valid. That begins by working with an experienced legal team to make sure that it is drafted, signed and filed properly, but there are a few other things you want to consider as well:
- If some of your provisions are invalid or illegal, the court could ignore those parts of the document or throw your prenup out entirely. For instance, you cannot state that you get sole custody of the children; prenups are not legally allowed to address child custody issues.
- If you and your spouse signed the prenup without enough time to consider it carefully, it could be invalid. This is why you usually want to draft and sign the paperwork months in advance. Some couples do it as soon as they get engaged.
- If either of you was under the influence of drugs or alcohol — even legal, prescription drugs — then the prenup may not stand. You both have to make this decision with a clear head and without any outside influence.
- If either of you lied on the prenup, it may not stand. For example, if you underreported your business income to make your spouse more open to signing the prenup, that could invalidate it.
- If you or your spouse felt pressured into signing, that can also make it so that the agreement doesn’t hold up. Signing has to be something that you both want to do and choose to do. Pressure from the other person cannot force your hand.
If you do start to head toward divorce with a prenup in place, after ensuring that the document is valid, you need to know about all of the legal steps you can take to protect your financial future.