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Common mistakes made with prenuptial agreements

Couples often put together prenuptial agreements with terms and conditions in the event that a divorce takes place.  These agreements can help protect estates and make certain specific assets remain inside of the family.  However, prenuptial agreements cannot be used to resolve issues concerning child support or time-sharing arrangements.  Also, mistakes can be made when drafting such documents.

One commentator has suggested that the biggest mistake that can be made when it comes to the signing of a prenuptial agreement is to not have an attorney look over the documents or provide independent legal representation.  Prenuptial agreements are often found to be invalid.  And the invalidity of a prenuptial agreement could ultimately lead to the very conflicts that a couple hoped to avoid when signing such a document.

The failure to have an attorney could lead to other mistakes being made as well. Parties can end up signing agreements under duress, be victims to other parties not disclosing all assets, fail to realize that options like child support provisions cannot be included, etc.

At times parties also do not understand the legal requirements that can come along with the creation of such an instrument. For example, an agreement can be invalidated because of it being unconscionable. The agreements can contain provisions that are legally unenforceable. Finally agreements may be too ambiguous to hold up in a court of law.

Please speak to an experienced family law attorney if you are considering signing a prenuptial agreement. As every state has its unique family law requirements, Florida residents will wish to speak to an attorney licensed in our state.

In any case, a well-drafted agreement will prevent misunderstandings that could ultimately cost both parties inconvenience and expense. Couples will want to make certain that the agreement can be enforced.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Common Prenup Pitfalls," David Centeno, Nov. 4, 2013

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