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Top Prenup Mistakes, Pt. I

As hard as it could be for some couples to agree on getting a prenup, it will be all the more difficult down the road to find that your prenuptial agreement was never valid in the first place. When Steven Spielberg divorced Amy Irving, their prenup was on a napkin, so obviously, neither of them had a lawyer when they wrote it up either. This prenuptial agreement was invalidated, and this meant that Spielberg had to pay $100 million to his former spouse.

While this is an extreme case, a botched prenuptial agreement can come back to bite you too. Here are some of the typical errors committed when creating a prenuptial agreement, so you can save yourself from making them:

  1. One of the main requirements of a prenup is that both fiancés each have their own attorney. Then their respective lawyers must advise each person about what the prenup will mean, and make sure that each person is signing the agreement of their own free choice. Without your own lawyers helping you with the agreement, you could be asking for a legal nightmare later, resulting in your prenup being thrown out by a court.
  2. A second reason that a prenuptial agreement could be invalidated is that one of the parties was forced into signing off on it, or they were mentally incapable at the time (such as if they were under the influence of alcohol). Duress is enough reason for a court to throw out a prenup. And all it takes is signing a prenup too close to the wedding. If your prenup is written up within a month of the wedding, your spouse may be able to say that they were under duress, as evidenced by the time constraint. Avoid this simple slipup by giving both you and your fiancé time to think; get this document finished one to three months before your wedding, at the very latest.
  3. Of course, there are financial mistakes that can occur too, namely, that you held back information. A prenup can be invalidated by a court if either of you fail to give full financial disclosure. This does not just mean assets and property you own either; debts have to be fully listed as well.
  4. Then there are prenups that are deemed "unconscionable". While some bias is allowable in the agreement, in cannot bankrupt the other spouse entirely. For example, if the agreement means that one party will be left living off of welfare, then a court will likely amend the prenup, or overrule it all together, to get that party off of welfare.

While it is not common for a prenup to be invalidated by a court, it does happen, and all it takes is a simple slipup to throw your finances into jeopardy. If you are already married and want to create a postnuptial agreement, then you also need an airtight agreement.

Do not find out too late that you made a preventable mistake. Secure your future. Work with an experienced family law attorney in Long Island who can successfully protect your rights. Contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today.