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What not to do when creating a prenuptial agreement

One of the most important questions newly engaged couples may have to answer is whether to incorporate a prenuptial agreement into their marriage. The reasons behind a prenup may be personal, professional or financial. Whatever the reason, broaching the topic may bring about some raw feelings of uncertainty and regret.

Because of this, there are a number of things that couples considering marriage should look out for so that they avoid the pitfalls that can come with a prenup that does not suit their interests. 

Have separate legal representation – Each party should have their own attorney review the agreement. This is important because each party must understand the legal implications of signing such an agreement. If a party was unrepresented when signing a prenup it could be invalidated later by a family court judge.

Don’t present (or sign) a prenup under duress – Any prenuptial agreement must be signed knowingly and willingly. A party must not be coerced into signing the contract, either with the threat of not marrying the person or threatening to expose an embarrassing secret. If it can be proven that a prenup was signed under duress, it can be set aside.

Do not include child support provisions – While there are many things that can be addressed through prenuptial agreements, child support is not one of them. State law governs the amount of child support that can be issued through a divorce.

Don’t wait till just before the wedding – The longer a person waits to present a prenuptial agreement, the greater the chances are that it could be invalidated. Simply put, asking your soon-to-be spouse to sign a prenup right before the wedding is a bad idea.

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