When it’s done right, a prenuptial agreement is a wise approach to planning for the future. It can be devastating, however, to learn that your prenuptial agreement has fallen short. If you find out in your time of need that your prenuptial agreement is invalid, your response may be frustration and disappointment. There are a few common mistakes you can avoid to increase the chances that your agreement is valid.
Sign It Well in Advance
One of the biggest mistakes couples make is putting off the signing until the last minute. If the invitations are already sent out, one party might try to argue down the road that he or she was forced into signing it. Make sure that each spouse has enough time to review the document and think about the provisions inside of it. Waiting until the last minute can cost you in a big way. You also want to be sure that your family law attorney has time to review it, so put the prenup into your schedule well in advance of the wedding.
Skip Child Support Provisions
Some people think this is helping their future children, but a prenuptial agreement can’t have provisions related to caring for the children, like child support. Usually these are going to be deemed unenforceable in the eyes of the law and the court will retain the power to enforce child support. If provisions that are invalid are present in your agreement, the court can actually dismiss the entire document.
Have An Attorney Review It
It’s just good planning to get your own Texas family lawyer to review your prenuptial agreement. This ensures that each party is aware of all the provisions inside and that the person is singing the document voluntarily. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll be “fine” with whatever’s inside: have an attorney review the document in full before you put your name on the dotted line.
Put it In Writing
It’s not a good idea to have your argument be only an oral one. It’s very rare for a court to accept a oral argument. Get the document in writing and reviewed by an attorney. In total, there should be four copies: one for each spouse and two to be filed with the attorneys.
On the note of writing, another common prenuptial agreement mistake involves ambiguous wording. In order for a document to be enforced, the wording should be clear. If the wording is confusing or unclear, it can be successfully challenged in the future. Once again, this is a step that can be accomplished by having an attorney draft and review your document. Someone with experience in the field is likely to verify that your document lines up with state and federal laws and that it’s clear enough to be enforceable in the future.