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Prenuptial agreements can smooth divorce woes

Few Maryland residents are probably unaware of the benefits of having a prenuptial agreement in place before tying the knot. However, there are a number of things that can render a prenup void, leaving spouses without the protection they need if divorce is the eventual outcome of their marriage. The following information looks at two of the most common errors in regard to the creation of prenuptial agreements, and it gives some insight on how to avoid a negative outcome.

When drafting a prenup, a full disclose of all existing assets is absolutely necessary. Both parties must provide a comprehensive list of the assets that they will bring into the marriage. Failure to include all assets can lead to the entire prenup being thrown out of court. In effect, a party cannot agree to cede his or her interest in an item or account of value if they are unaware of the existence of that asset.

The second error that far too many couples make is failing to leave sufficient time between drafting the document and walking down the aisle. This is a significant legal contract, and both parties need plenty of time to review the contents, obtain legal guidance on the matter and make an informed decision to sign. If a prenup is created and signed in the weeks or days leading up to a marriage, one spouse could later claim that he or she signed under duress. That could lead a judge to throw the entire document out of court.

When considering the best way to move forward with a prenuptial agreement, couples should obtain the advice of a family law attorney. In this way, it is possible to create a marital contract that is fair, properly drafted and enforceable in a court of law should a divorce occur. Once this financial planning document is in place, Maryland couples can turn their attention toward planning their wedding as well as looking forward to their first few years as a married couple.

Source: Fortune, "What we can learn about prenups from the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Garner divorce", Laura J. Vogel, July 4, 2015

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