Hiring Legal Counsel

Each spouse should retain independent legal counsel. This enables courts to consider your independent representation as evidence that both parties entered into the prenuptial agreement voluntarily and not unconscionable.

You should begin the process of your prenuptial agreement months before the wedding to make sure that everything is complete. This also makes it harder for a spouse to claim duress or undue influence.

Although a spouse may waive the right of full disclosure of assets and obligations, it is better for each party to attach a list of assets and obligations to the premarital agreement itself. For assets that are hard to value, your lawyer should be sure to attach appraisals and financial statements.

Your premarital agreement should be very specific about all marital rights waived, with each right listed separately, in order to prevent a challenging spouse from claiming that he or she was unaware of the specific rights that were waived. A good lawyer will also include rights that may not exist in the particular state in which you reside, to ensure that a move to another state by either party will not cause any problems. The agreement should state that both parties intend to waive, release and relinquish all rights, claims and interests of any kind.

A good lawyer will work with you and your spouse’s attorney in order to make sure that both parties are happy with the agreement. This will also prevent many complications or future problems that can occur between you and your spouse.

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