Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Drafting Your Prenuptial Agreement
While prenuptial agreements have a reputation for being unromantic or bad luck, the reality is that a well-crafted premarital contract can play a crucial role in protecting a couple’s financial interests and providing soon-to-be spouses with peace of mind. Drafting a prenuptial agreement, however, isn’t always an easy process and even a minor error could end up undermining the contract’s validity and effectiveness. To help you avoid such a mistake, we’ve included a list of the most common errors made by couples who attempt to draft prenuptial agreements on their own.
Failing to Provide a Full Financial Disclosure
Full and honest disclosure of one’s financial situation is critical when drafting a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it is legally required under Florida law, so someone who attempts to hide or undervalue property or debts could end up facing court sanctions. Most importantly, a prenuptial agreement won’t be effective or fair if one of the parties doesn’t disclose all of his or her holdings. Both parties must provide detailed information not only about their income, but also about their investments and liabilities.
Using Unclear Language
Another common mistake made by couples who attempt to draft their own prenuptial agreements without the aid of an attorney is the use of confusing or vague language. Unclear and misleading information can result in misinterpretation and an unfair agreement. Courts also won’t enforce an ambiguous document, either striking the problematic provision or voiding the entire agreement.
Failing to Plan for Contingencies
A couple’s circumstances at the time of their marriage will rarely remain the same for very long. For this reason, it’s important for couples to avoid making too rigid of a contract, but to try to anticipate possible changes in the future, like a career shift, health issues, the receipt of an inheritance, or the birth of a child. Couples who fail to take these changes into consideration risk having an outdated or irrelevant agreement that doesn’t reflect their current reality.
Waiting Until the Last Minute
A prenuptial agreement is a binding legal contract that should be taken very seriously and not brought up a few days or even weeks before a wedding. Instead, couples should begin this conversation early, giving themselves plenty of time to fully disclose their finances and negotiate the terms of the agreement. This gives couples ample opportunity for open communication, time for reflection, and the chance to make adjustments. Leaving a prenuptial agreement until the last minute, on the other hand, can result in rushed decisions, incomplete financial disclosures, and legal missteps. Waiting until the last minute can even be interpreted as coercive by a court, meaning that the final agreement is unenforceable.
Call Today for Legal Assistance
One of the biggest mistakes that a couple can make when drafting a prenuptial agreement is to fail to seek legal guidance. Prenuptial agreements are complex legal contracts and any inconsistencies or irregularities could result in the voiding of the entire agreement. Couples should ensure that they have a solid agreement that will protect their interests and stand up to legal scrutiny. For help drafting your own prenuptial agreement, reach out to experienced Florida prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.