Prenuptial agreements are no longer the taboo topic they once were for couples who are about to wed. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at a prenup carefully and ask some important questions before you sign it.
Here are the things everyone should ask before signing a prenup:
1. How does it line up with state laws?
You want to make certain that you understand your state’s laws regarding property rights, spousal support and other divorce matters before you make any agreements in a prenup. If you’re giving up any rights, you need to do so with conscious awareness of the choices you’re making and your options.
2. Are estate waivers involved?
Estate waivers can throw a previously crafted estate plan into doubt and create legal conflicts. If this isn’t your first marriage and either you or your spouse have children from a prior relationship, make sure that your prenup and estate plans don’t conflict in any way.
3. Does the prenup have any unenforceable terms?
While you can technically write just about anything you want into a prenup, that doesn’t mean it will be enforceable. Agreements that aren’t reasonable or legal in part can be questioned in whole — and that’s not something you want to deal with while your marriage is crumbling.
4. Do you both have legal representation?
You and your intended spouse should each have the benefit of an attorney’s guidance before you sign a prenup. That way, you’re each assured that someone is advocating on your behalf.
Ultimately, the goal of a good prenup is to avoid a messy divorce. It should also make both parties clearer and more comfortable about their financial rights and obligations if there is a divorce. The lack of uncertainty can often be very freeing and take away a lot of fears for a couple.