While bridal websites typically stick to photos of elegant gowns and elaborate floral displays, a recent online post by the magazine, Brides (by way of MSN.com), actually tackled the stick subject of what to do when presented with a request for a Prenuptial Agreement. http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/marriage/he-asked-you-to-sign-a-pre-nup-now-what/ar-BBgzwBV
The article includes sound advice as to what to do when faced with this request: 1) find out how far into the process your fiancé has gotten; 2) resist the urge to sign something immediately; and 3) talk to your own attorney and not your fiancé’s.
I would add a few more pieces of advice:
- Take stock of your own financial circumstances. This is a contract between two people and your financial health is just as important as your future spouse’s. Speak with a qualified CPA, a financial planner, or even an estate planning attorney to get a financial “check-up” of sorts. You will need to inventory your assets if you do end up signing a Pre-nup so this investigation is well worth the effort.
- Discuss with your own attorney what you want to see in the document. You don’t have to use this session as a time to have someone “check out” what has already been drafted by someone else (that someone else being an attorney, who does not represent you and, you can presume, has no interest in protecting your interests). This is a negotiable document and you may have your own concerns about protection of assets and avoidance of your fiancé’s liabilities.
- Research your options for qualified counsel carefully. Prenuptial agreements must comport to very specific statutory requirements and they are often challenged in court at the time of a divorce. They are not something an attorney should “dabble” in. Our Arizona State Bar Certified Specialists, Barry Dickerson, and Steven Everts, are well-versed in the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial agreements.
In sum, if you are approached to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to your anticipated wedding, take the time to research your own circumstances and the legal consequences of signing such a document before agreeing to do it.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Lindsay A. M. Olivarez at www.udallshumway.com or contact an attorney in your community.