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Couples who are planning to get married, often want to resolve any potential issues before the nuptials. Premarital agreements allow couples to put in writing their agreements as to how things would be handled in the event of a separation and divorce in the future, prior to these matters becoming an issue. There are certain requirements in order for these agreements to be enforceable, and it is important to ensure that your premarital agreement is drafted appropriately and executed properly for enforce-ability.
First, the timing of execution is important. A premarital agreement obviously must be executed prior to the marriage, but not too far in advance, such that circumstances change, or one of the spouses can argue that they changed their mind. However, it also shouldn't be executed too close to the date of the wedding. This can open the door for an argument that one spouse felt pressured to enter the agreement for fear that the other spouse would not go through with the wedding absent an executed agreement.
Additionally, the agreement must be executed by both spouses, in front of a notary. Ideally, the agreement should be executed by each spouse separately, so that there is no concern that either spouse is being pressured by the other to sign the agreement.
Also, both spouses must make a full disclosure of assets and liabilities to the other spouse prior to the execution of the agreement. This ensures that both spouses enter the agreement voluntarily, and with a complete knowledge of the rights and responsibilities they are acquiring and giving up.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of a premarital agreement, contact our office to speak with an attorney today.