Drafting A Valid Prenuptial Agreement
Although television and movies portray prenuptial or premarital agreements as a deceptive or manipulative tool, there are many good reasons to create a prenuptial agreement prior to a marriage. However, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to draft a valid agreement, and failure to meet these prerequisites can result in some or all of the document being thrown out if challenged in court. At Fort, Holloway, & Rogers our dedicated Franklin family law attorneys can help you and your loved one draft a prenuptial agreement that meets both of your needs. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
Why Draft a Prenuptial Agreement?
Couples draft prenuptial agreements for many different reasons. One of the most common reasons is to identify property interests in case of divorce or death. Spouses can enter a marriage understanding exactly what they will walk away with when the marriage ends. This is particularly helpful when blending families to help clearly identify who will get what and avoid future problems.
Couples also draft prenuptial agreements when one or both spouses enter into the marriage with significant assets, such as owning a business. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the company is not detrimentally affected if a marriage fails. Prenuptial agreements can also guarantee future financial protections for spouses, especially if one spouse makes significantly less income than the other, as this agreement can stipulate the type, duration, and amount of alimony payments in a divorce.
How to Create a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
In order to create a valid prenuptial agreement, it is always recommended that you use an experienced Tennessee family law attorney to help draft the document. A valid prenuptial agreement cannot be unconscionable in its terms, like leaving one spouse with everything and one with nothing. It also cannot contain terms that violate public policy or contain requirements that demand certain physical acts or chores in exchange for property interests.
Each spouse must also have the opportunity to review the document with independent legal counsel prior to signing. Shoving a prenuptial agreement in a spouse’s hands right before walking down the aisle would not be considered a valid agreement. Similarly, there can be no other evidence of coercion or duress, or else the agreement can be thrown out by the court.
Finally, Tennessee law restricts what can be included in a prenuptial agreement. While property interests can be identified in this document, such as allocating interest in real estate, personal property, business interests, and more, a prenuptial agreement cannot predetermine issues like child custody and visitation. The court makes those determinations by viewing the matter through the lens of what is in the best interest of the child, and any provision related to this in a prenuptial agreement will likely be struck by a judge.
Call or Contact Our Office
Do you have questions about drafting a prenuptial agreement prior to your wedding? If so, the law office of Fort, Holloway, & Rogers is here to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case.