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When is a prenuptial agreement a bad idea?

So many soon-to-be newlyweds kick around the idea of drafting a prenuptial agreement before marriage. What was once considered taboo is now actually considered forward thinking and good planning. Many couples may justify a prenuptial agreement by running down the list of pros and why entering into one is a good idea. However, occasionally a prenuptial agreement is not in a spouse's best interest. By understanding the difference between a good and bad prenuptial agreement, spouses can help protect themselves from an unfair contract.

In the best situation, an effectively drafted prenuptial agreement provides protection to both spouses in the event of divorce. It is an agreement between spouses to disclose all pertinent financial information before marriage. By doing so, couples enter into marriage with a clear picture of each others financial landscape. When these agreements are entered into with full disclosure and a complete understanding, they are fairer and more effectively enforced.

Occasionally, prenuptial agreements are drafted one-sidedly and entered into under pressure. These agreements may be unfairly advantageous to one spouse over the other by unlawfully awarding property and assets in the event of divorce. There are several necessary elements that must be present in a legally binding prenuptial agreement. These elements can be implicit or explicit and take place before, during and after marriage. One such element is the requirement for each spouse to take a full week of consideration before entering into a prenuptial agreement. If an individual is pressured into signing a prenuptial agreement before the required week is up or without first seeking professional legal counsel, it may not be legally enforceable.

Not all prenuptial agreements are created equal, and they are not always in an individual's best interests. The effective, fair and enforceable prenuptial agreement offers both spouses equal protection and can be an invaluable resource in the event of divorce. However, prenuptial agreements that are unfairly advantageous to one spouse, entered into under pressure, or lacking the necessary legal elements, are simply bad news and should be avoided. For help drafting a comprehensive and legally enforceable prenuptial agreement, soon-to-be spouses should consider working with an experienced attorney.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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