A couple ready to marry makes a prenuptial agreement to address the ownership of their respective assets and debts. Starting a discussion about a prenuptial agreement is a delicate matter. But it’s one that needs to happen long before your wedding day. Our Las Vegas prenuptial agreement attorneys have decades of experience writing and implementing legally valid contracts. They also regularly appear in family court arguing both for and against prenuptial agreement validity.
Nevada Community Property Law governs marital property during divorce unless there is a valid prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement must be valid to be enforceable in court. These agreements, by their nature, are fraught with legal “gray areas.” In other words, there’s a lot of room for debate on validity.
Valid Prenuptial Agreements
A family court judge may rule a prenuptial agreement invalid, and therefore unenforceable, if the agreement wasn’t correctly done. When this happens, marital property becomes community property. A prenuptial agreement can be valid if:
- It’s properly worded
- Each party has an adequate time period to review it
- Both future spouses have the chance for independent legal counsel
- It includes all the financial details for both parties
- Both parties sign the agreement
- The agreement does not “overly” favor one party
- It doesn’t include child support conditions
Properly Worded Agreements
Each party must disclose all assets and debts. Omitting significant financial information is a sure way to have an invalid agreement. It’s best that a seasoned prenuptial agreement attorney draft the document. They know how to word the agreement so it stands up in court, if need be. Each agreement is different, but there are nuances that these attorneys use to better protect your assets. Beware of using a standard form from a legal supply source. Skimping on legal counsel for your agreement could cost you big time later.
Independent Legal Counsel
Both future spouses should have their own independent prenuptial agreement attorneys. A strong argument for invalidity is when one party has an attorney and the other doesn’t. This is particularly true when the financially stronger party is the only one with legal counsel. It’s possible however for one party to waive their right to legal counsel. But the family courts look very closely at these situations so it’s not advisable. However, if one party decides to waive their rights to independent legal counsel, their decision must be in writing.
Adequate Time Period
A valid prenuptial agreement requires an “adequate time period”. Both parties must have enough time to review and sign the prenuptial agreement. Nevada law specifies the need for an adequate time period. But it does not define what that length of time is. Again, this is another legal gray area. So it’s always best to avoid risk. Therefore, you should sign the prenuptial agreement months before your wedding day.
The Agreement Cannot Overly Favor One Party
Nevada law states that the terms and conditions of a prenuptial agreement must not be “unconscionable.” But there is no exact legal definition for the term unconscionable. Therefore, this is one of the most common legal gray areas. But it generally means that the agreement cannot overly favor one party.
Las Vegas Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
We can protect you from financial risks. They will be able to identify the terms and conditions that might cause you harm if any future disputes arise. Attorneys Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo offer phone consultations as a courtesy at no charge. Please call our office at 702-222-4021 and they’ll be glad to speak with you.