Do We Need Different Attorneys for a Premarital Agreement?

A premarital agreement in Arizona is an effective tool that can allow engaged couples to protect their financial interests in the case of divorce or death. While it is not technically required that either or both parties be represented by independent legal counsel, it is often best for both parties to have their own lawyer involved in the process.

Equal Bargaining

When one party is represented by legal counsel and the other is not, this may create an imbalance of power in the process. This can make the agreement more susceptible to a challenge later on by the party who was not represented. They may claim they did not have an adequate understanding of the agreement. This argument may be even stronger when there was not much time for the party to review the agreement before the wedding.

Protecting Your Interests

A lawyer can help protect his or her client’s legal interests. An attorney can explain the terms of the prenuptial agreement to his or her attorney and ensure that the client is comfortable with the terms. If there are unfavorable terms, a lawyer can negotiate with the attorney representing the other party to reach a compromise regarding these provisions.

Ethical Constraints

While one attorney can draft a premarital agreement that both parties sign, the attorney cannot ethically represent both parties. This is because an attorney has an ethical duty of loyalty to his or her client. They may not be able to represent both parties equally because what is good for one party is often adverse to the other. Therefore, an attorney can only represent one party at a time.

Knowledge of Laws

Before signing a premarital agreement, it is important to contact a qualified and experienced family law lawyer. He or she can review the prenuptial agreement or draft based on the negotiations between the parties. A premarital agreement is subject to more scrutiny when it is based on a generic agreement that a party wrote up rather than prepared by a family law attorney who is experienced with drafting these particular documents.

A premarital agreement that is prepared by a lawyer is less likely to be poorly drafted than an agreement that the parties make up without legal representation. An unprofessional prenuptial agreement may lack necessary details or have conflicting clauses that can make it difficult for a family court to enforce.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

If you would like a premarital agreement put in place before you get married, consider contacting an experienced family law attorney. The well-qualified family law attorneys at Udall Shumway can draft a prenuptial agreement that advances your interests or review an existing agreement to ensure that you understand what you are agreeing to. Contact our office at 480.461.5300 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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 regarding Premarital Agreement, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Jonathan D. Brooks at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.