What are the Differences between a Prenup and Postnup?
Prenuptial agreements are entered into prior to the marriage, while postnuptial agreements are entered into after the couple has already entered wedlock. The same considerations relating to prenuptial agreements generally apply to postnuptial agreements. Postnuptial agreements are generally more strictly scrutinized since the parties have already entered into wedlock and are considered extreme fiduciaries.
What may be included in a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can include a long list of topics with a few exceptions. Clauses that are said to violate public policy will usually not be upheld in a prenuptial agreement. Children cannot be deprived of their right to support from either parent through any marital agreement. Nor can parents exchange a waiver of child support for a waiver of timesharing.
It is important to note that future assets may be covered by a prenuptial agreement. The specific asset does not need to be mentioned or known at the time of the drafting. For example, an agreement may protect any property owned now or in the future, that is exclusively in that individual's name
How far in advance of the wedding should the agreement be signed?
It is always best to plan ahead and allow for the prenuptial agreement to be signed and finalized well before wedding day. Signing a prenuptial agreement too close to wedding day may render the agreement unenforceable. There is no set golden time frame, however it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Can one lawyer represent both my fiance and I if we see eye to eye on the terms of the agreement?
No. Counsel may only represent one of the parties to a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. It is strongly encouraged that the other party seek their own counsel.
My fiance and I have no assets...why would we need a prenuptial agreement?
It is important to remember that a prenuptial agreement can cover broad categories that protect future interests. Additionally, it can be productive for a couple to discuss such financial information prior to marriage. If a prenuptial agreement is not drafted, then in the event of a separation or death, property will be dispursed according to statute or a judge. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that any current property or future property will be dealt with how both parties wish. It also may help to make these crucial decisions at a time of love rather than a more hostile time.
Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can deal with debt and liabilities. If student loans are a concern for you and your fiance, then an agreement might be appropriate.
How much does a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement cost?
We price the agreements depending on each client's specific needs. After a free consultation, the client will be provided a full quote for the cost of the agreement. This will be a flat fee with no hidden extra costs.
The price to review an agreement that has already been drafted is also determined after a free consultation and a review of the complexity of the agreement.
How do I initiate the conversation about a prenuptial agreement with my fiance?
This is often the biggest concern of our clients. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients throughout this entire process and has helpful suggestions for the conversation.
Why would a court set aside or not enforce a prenuptial agreement?
The repetitive theme of successful challenges to prenuptial agreements is from a lack of basic fairness or a failure to make a full disclosure. Further, agreements are often set aside if they are found to be signed under duress. That is why it is important to make sure that the agreement is signed well in advance of the wedding.
Do prenuptial agreements only account for if the parties are divorced?
No. There are three basic reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement: in contemplation of death, dissolution of marriage (divorce), or to govern the relationship of the partners during the marriage. Often times, a young couple may not have a drafted will yet, and a prenuptial agreement can account for what will happen in the event of the death of one of the parties.