A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.
A prenuptial agreement can go a long way in helping you deal with various marital and divorce issues. However, prenuptial agreements do have their limitations. Below is an overview of such limitations.
Doesn't Cover Everything
A prenuptial agreement is meant to help you navigate marital responsibilities, divorce issues, and the death of a spouse. However, the agreement doesn't cover everything, which means there will still be issues you have to handle on your own or with the help of the court. For example, prenuptial agreements don't cover child support and child custody agreements, which are some of the biggest issues people have to deal with during a divorce.
Can Be Challenged
Just because you have a prenuptial agreement, it doesn't mean that everything will automatically happen as stipulated in the agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court, and courts can overturn entire agreements or specific problematic clauses. For example, your partner might succeed in getting the agreement overturned if they prove to the court that you coerced them into signing the agreement.
Might Raise Distrust Issues
Some people don't like discussing or signing prenuptial agreements. Your partner might think that you distrust them or you are preparing for an end to your relationship if you raise the issue of a prenuptial agreement. In fact, the discussions alone can sow seeds of discontent between the two of you. You need great tact, understanding, and empathy to raise the issue and craft a successful prenuptial agreement without alienating or coercing your partner.
Based On Goodwill
During a divorce, couples can use the discovery process to know as much as possible about their partner's finances. That way, the court can make child support, alimony, and marital settlement determinations based on facts. A prenuptial agreement doesn't have a discovery process. This means you will rely on the goodwill or honesty of your partner and expect them to reveal everything about their finances. Unfortunately, your partner might lie (sad but true) about their assets, which might create problems during the enforcement of the agreement.
Might Create Unfairness
Lastly, a prenuptial agreement can also lead to an unfair division of assets in case of a divorce. For example, you can craft a prenuptial agreement that excludes some of your partner's businesses or assets from the marital division of assets during a divorce. That way, you might end up with less than what you would have received via court action if you didn't have the prenuptial agreement.
Work with experienced family lawyers, ideally a separate lawyer for each of you, if you want to craft a good prenuptial agreement. That way, you will be well versed in the limitations and how to deal with any complications that might arise.
To learn more about family law, consult a resource in your area.Share
14 November 2019