A prenuptial agreement may not be the most romantic topic to raise days leading up to your marriage. After all, you are getting married “till death do ye part.” However, no one knows what the future holds.
More and more couples are embracing the concept of prenuptial agreements. But, while the decision to prepare a prenup can be a brilliant one, certain pitfalls can nullify the entire point behind the prenuptial agreement: separating personal assets from marital assets. Here are three mistakes to avoid:
1. Failing to make the prenup official
For a prenuptial agreement to hold, it must be official. And to be official, the prenuptial document must meet the following criteria:
- It must be written
- It must be dated and signed by both parties
- It must be properly notarized
- It must be witnessed
A prenuptial agreement that does not meet any of the following requirements may be challenged and invalidated.
2. Coercing your future spouse to sign
A prenuptial agreement must be signed unconditionally by both parties. If you coerce (threaten, blackmail or pressurize) your spouse to sign the document, the court will invalidate it. An example of coercion would be threatening to cancel the garden wedding if your partner does not sign the prenup document.
3. Including unconscionable provisions
Certain provisions cannot be included in the prenuptial agreement. For instance, you cannot include unconscionable provisions in your prenup. Basically, these are provisions that are deemed grossly unfair or shocking to the conscience. An example of an unconscionable provision would be the demand that one party performs certain sexual acts while in the marriage to qualify for certain privileges upon divorce.
Asking your spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot is a sign that the marriage is bound to fail. Done right, a prenuptial agreement can safeguard your rights and interests should things fail to pan out as desired.