Most people know the idea behind a prenuptial agreement-it is designed to protect your assets in the sad event of a divorce. Although it is pessimistic to think of a divorce even before you tie the not, the sad truth is that about 50% of marriages in the United States do end in divorce. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm In this post I want to discuss where you can get a prenuptial and what to look for when you are creating your agreement and the pros and cons of each approach.
Hiring an attorney or creating a prenuptial yourself?
“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.”
Writing or drafting as we say in the legal profession certainly has benefits. For instance you it takes time to find a lawyer you are comfortable with. Also, there is the issue of affordability. Attorney’s fees are sometimes expensive.
On the other hand, there are several reasons why hiring an attorney is a good idea. First, every state has different legal requirements for a prenuptial agreement an experienced attorney knows the law of his state, in my case that would be Florida. There are certain legal requirements that will make a prenuptial legally valid. You can find the Florida requirements here, https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/61.079. At the very least you should have an attorney review your document for a small fee.
Other Places where you might go for a prenuptial agreement
Your religious organization
Before you look to your pastor, priest, or another religious leader, you should consider whether prenuptial agreements are accepted in your faith. For instance, the Catholic Church doesn’t forbid prenuptial agreements wherein Judaism can be more difficult.
If you got a prenuptial agreement in another country or plan to move to another country.
Countries take different approaches to the validity of prenuptial agreements, so it pays to do your research. For example, in the Bahamas prenuptial agreements are not legal, but the court can use them to help determine the intent of the parties. Moving to Italy? Italian Courts usually will enforce a foreign prenuptial agreement so long as its not against public policy.
Location, Location, Location
Okay, now lets talk about where to find a prenuptial agreement.
If you are drafting your own agreement.
There are several option if you want to make your prenuptial agreement.
- Search the web for templates you can use. There are many sites that offer free templates and forms, others will charge you to create it for you.
- Get a book from the library or your local bookstore. Legal publishers like Nolo often have templates that you can use.
- Ask a friend who has experience or a prenuptial agreement you can use.
- Create your own.
If you are going to hire an attorney.
If you decide to have an attorney help you consider the following options:
- Ask if they have experience drafting prenuptial agreements.
- How much they charge and how they charge-hourly or flat fee.
- What if you want to modify your prenuptial agreement in the future.
Where should I keep my prenuptial agreement?
It would be wise to place your prenuptial agreement in a safe place. This would include:
- Attorney’s office (if you used one).
- Safe at home.
- Someone you trust.
I hope you find this information useful and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding premarital agreements or other family law matters.