Oct 08, 2021 11:03 AM EDT
Prenuptial Agreements: When to Hire a Family Law Expert
Prenuptial agreements, also known as prenups, are not restricted to the wealthy. Anybody can have a prenup to protect his/her assets. Whether you have few assets or own several residential buildings, you should have a prenuptial agreement. Among other things, a prenuptial agreement will protect your assets, a key step towards planning your future financial life. However, prenuptial agreements come with a lot of technicalities. That's why you should hire a good prenuptial agreement lawyer. Here are compelling reasons why you should hire the right prenuptial agreement lawyer.
Of course, using a prenuptial agreement is important. However, it's a personal decision. The choice of having it rests with your personal preferences. Nevertheless, if you need it, it's time to talk to your prenuptial lawyer.
By definition, a prenuptial agreement represents a legally binding or enforceable contract that spells out how your assets will be divided (i.e., between you and your spouse). Thus, a prenuptial agreement is drawn to make things clear in case you divorce in the future. Several financial issues can be covered in the prenuptial agreement. This includes alimony, real estate, land, etc. In general, a prenuptial agreement dictates that you should draw a complete innovatory of assets. Also, debts should be included in the prenuptial agreement. Still more, if you have property, business, or land that was acquired before marriage, the prenuptial agreement will protect you.
What Should the Agreement Include?
The agreement can contain a lot of issues. The contract isn't limited to specific assets. It can cover a myriad of issues. Before drawing up the agreement, it's important to take into consideration your explicit financial as well as social situation. The contract may include certain standard terms outlining the formula to be used when splitting assets, wealth, liabilities, debts, etc. in case of a divorce. For instance, a family pet can be included in this contract.
Still more, the internet is influencing how prenuptial agreements are drawn. For instance, clever couples can include a clause that prohibits any party from sharing divorce details on social media. Usually, the following terms can be included in the prenuptial agreement:
● Provision for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation during divorce
● How the retirement, as well as business assets, will be handled in the future
● How the marital home will be handled
● How will taxes be paid
● The same applies to mortgages and even mortgage rates
● How student loans of your spouse will be handled
What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Having a prenuptial agreement is a good starting point if you don't want a lot of disagreements in the future. A prenuptial agreement protects your assets during a divorce case. Remember, in the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the other party may take advantage of you. This is particularly true when it comes to the assets you acquired before entering into a marriage. Generally, assets acquired during the marriage should be divided on a 50/50 basis. On the other hand, property acquired before the marriage will not be divided. This includes gifts, inheritance, etc.
It's important to note that those living in state-owned property won't have a lot of issues during divorce. This is because you won't need to draft a complex prenuptial agreement.
However, if you own separate property, you need a prenup to protect it from a messy divorce case. Still more, if both of you are sure that alimony won't be an issue after the divorce, a prenuptial agreement will be needed. It will protect you from being forced to pay for spousal support.
When To Hire a Lawyer
Prenuptial agreements are important aspects when it comes to divorce cases. The rules governing the drafting of these agreements differ from state to state. That's why you should familiarize yourself with these laws before drafting a prenuptial agreement. However, if you cannot interpret prenup laws, it's important to enlist the services of a good lawyer. Remember, prenuptial laws can be complex and confusing. Slight mistakes can annul your agreement. Still most, most states require that you hire a lawyer to go through the prenuptial agreement before it can be stamped. Thus, don't hesitate to hire a good prenuptial lawyer. It will help you get the process right.
Independent Legal Advice
Hiring a prenuptial lawyer is good. However, do you know that getting a second opinion counts? Remember, your court will strictly scrutinize your prenup agreement. Thus, it's important to seek a second opinion. Doing so will ensure that everything is clear, correct, and unambiguous. It will mean that your prenuptial agreement is valid. That's why you are advised to hire at least two, independent lawyers.
Still more, judges are very preservative when it comes to prenuptial agreements. In particular, they tend to raise red flags when one party's authorization is missing in the agreement.
Talking to Your Spouse Is Important
A Prenuptial agreement should involve both parties. That's why communication is a key part of this process. Talking to your spouse will iron out contentious issues and put them to rest. Thus, before hiring a lawyer, it's important to discuss the terms with your partner. This will ensure that both of you are reading from the same page. With a prenuptial agreement, nobody will feel destitute. Still more, you minimize the chances of losing separate property after a divorce case. Both parties are advised to embrace a high level of honesty when drawing a prenuptial agreement.
The work of a lawyer is to document your desires in a legal agreement. This will make it a legally recognized contract.
How To Hire the Best Prenup Lawyer
Prenuptial matters are very important aspects when it comes to divorce cases. Still more, prenup laws are complex. They require expertise. Experience is important. You need a qualified prenup lawyer. That's why you should hire a good lawyer. Choose a lawyer who will help you draft the right prenuptial agreement. Avoid lawyers who are out to take your money. Here are practical tips and tricks for choosing a qualified prenuptial lawyer.
As stated before, prenuptial-related laws aren't straightforward. They are complex, and often require a sharp legal mind. Still more, if you can find someone who has handled these matters before, the better for you. Thus, consider asking that lawyer about the cases he/she has handled before. Choose a lawyer with years of experience in handling prenuptial agreements. This is the only way you can be sure of drawing a valid prenuptial agreement.
Ask for referrals from couples who have drawn a prenup agreement before. You can also seek referrals from your current lawyer. With referrals, you can be sure of getting a tested a tried prenup lawyer who will deliver results. Family and friends can be also good sources of referrals.
What's the educational background of that lawyer? Where did he/she study? Choose a lawyer with a good educational background. This will boost your chances of drawing a legally binding and valid prenuptial agreement.
Area Of Specialization
Not all lawyers can handle prenuptial agreement matters. This is a specialized field. It requires someone with specialization. Thus, choose a lawyer who specialized in family law. In particular, hire a lawyer who is familiar with prenuptial agreements.
There are several family lawyers online. Thus, it's important to start with research when looking for a prenup lawyer. Leverage on Google. You will get several options. Sample at least 5 options. Call these lawyers. Arrange an interview with each of these lawyers.
Choose a prenuptial lawyer with a high success rate. This will guarantee you great results. A lawyer with a high success rate means that he/she understands the law and doesn't make mistakes when drafting a prenuptial agreement.
Select a certified lawyer. Such a lawyer is likely to deliver better results than an uncertified one. A certified attorney will exude a high level of processualism when dealing with your case. He/she won't cut shortcuts when handling your prenuptial agreement.
Ask that lawyer about testimonials. Consider calling these past clients. Ask them about this lawyer. Was he/she professional? How did that lawyer handle your issue? Is he/she patient? Does he/she understand family law? Testimonials will help you spot bad prenuptial lawyers.
Qualities Of a Good Attorney
Generally, it's advisable to hire a goods prenup lawyer. Among other things, a good lawyer will guarantee you results. You will have a good working relationship. Still more, you will get the best legal advice. On the other hand, a bad lawyer will be out to exploit you. All he/she will be interested in is your money. Such lawyers will rush into drafting a prenuptial agreement without taking into consideration all the emerging issues. He/she will misadvise you. A bad lawyer can cost you, especially during the divorce proceeding. Here are top qualities you should look out for in a good prenuptial lawyer:
Lawyers come with different personalities. Certain personalities are difficult to deal with. For instance, a combative lawyer can end up frustrating your efforts. He/she will want you to follow his way. There is no room for discussion. To him/her, you must listen and wait. Such a lawyer can be very manipulative. Thus, consider the personality of a lawyer. Does it fit you? Choose a lawyer with a friendly, but professional personality if you want the best from your prenuptial agreement. Such a lawyer will give you alternatives, listen to your side, talk to your spouse, before giving you advice.
A good lawyer should promptly answer your calls. Avoid lawyers who take ages to answer your calls. If he/she is busy, you should get a notification. If the lawyer doesn't pick your calls, then say no to that lawyer.
Time For Your Agreement
Does that lawyer have sufficient time for your case? A good lawyer should dedicate enough time to handle your case. Remember, a prenup agreement isn't a one-day affair. It involves a series of consultations. You must talk to your spouse. Your lawyer should also talk to your spouse for clarification. This requires time.
Drawing a prenuptial agreement requires a lot of patience. It demands a patient lawyer. This agreement involves a lot of considerations. Thus, ensure that you are hiring a patient lawyer. Does he/she take the time to answer your questions? Is that lawyer dismissive? What about his/her attitude? These questions will guide you when choosing a good prenuptial lawyer.
Knowledge About Family Law
Family law is very wide. It can also be very complex. A good lawyer should grasp all the concepts in family law, including those relating to the drafting of prenuptial agreements. Thus, ask questions to ascertain if that lawyer is conversant with these aspects of the law. For instance, you can ask him how independent properties will be handled. Don't forget to ask him/her about student loans.
Professionalism is an important aspect when handling matters to do with prenuptial agreements. Professionalism entails not disclosing the information in the agreement to third parties. A good lawyer should keep things private. He/she shouldn't expose you to other people.
Communication skills are also important in law. A good lawyer should have excellent communication skills. How does he/she express himself/herself? Is he/she clear and concise? How about his/her written English? In a nutshell, good communication skills are needed when drafting a prenuptial agreement.
It's Time to Hire a Good Lawyer
Don't hire any prenuptial lawyer. Choose the best one. Conduct your research and choose a lawyer who can guarantee you the best results. Also, don't rely on one lawyer. Your agreement should be counterchecked. This is the only way it can be termed as valid. Thus, hire 2-3 lawyers to countercheck your prenuptial agreement. Also, be sure to consult with your spouse before drawing a prenuptial agreement. Without this, it can be invalidated in court.
Don't draft prenuptial agreements on your own. There are several technicalities involved. Plus, simple mistakes can mess up your financial future. That's why you need a lawyer on your side. The above are compelling reasons why you should consider hiring a good prenuptial agreement lawyer.
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