Prenuptial agreements, also known as “prenups,” are legally binding contracts put in place before marriage to protect assets for both parties. Regardless of status or wealth, having a predetermined agreement in place can ease tensions down the line in the event of divorce, since the division of assets has already been decided and agreed upon. With the complexities involved in any prenuptial contract, deciding to not hire a prenup lawyer can put yourself at risk down the line.
Each state has different laws pertaining to prenuptial agreements. Unless you’re familiar with your state’s specific stipulations and feel totally comfortable interpreting them, you should hire a prenup lawyer to ensure you’re fully protected.
You Could Miss Out on Independent Legal Advice
It’s common for one lawyer to oversee a prenuptial agreement, with the court’s review. Even though the court will scrutinize the agreement, having your own independent prenup lawyer will further validate the agreement. In addition to your future spouse’s lawyer, your independent prenup lawyer is at your disposal to help draft the ideal document.
The average person cannot fully understand the benefits and risks without the assistance of legal counsel. During the court’s review, if it comes to light that only one party in the agreement had counsel, the judge may see it as an indication of unfairness and could possibly reject the contract during divorce proceedings. However, if both parties have an individual prenup lawyer, the court will be more inclined to hold up the agreement later.
You’re Left Exposed to Error or Manipulation
Opting to move forward with a prenuptial agreement without an independent prenup lawyer can leave you exposed to potential manipulation from the other party. While the idea of a prenuptial agreement is a sensitive topic and you certainly don’t want to think your spouse has negative intentions, it never hurts to cover your side.
Only by having your own lawyer will you have someone abreast of the laws for your state in your corner able to vouch for you during the drafting and possible later proceedings. As we mentioned above, a court is likely to throw out a case wherein only one party had a prenup lawyer, which illustrates how seriously the agreement is and how important it is for all parties involved to be equally represented.
Your State May Require It
Some states may even require an individual lawyer for each party in a prenuptial agreement, as certain laws specify you cannot use the same attorney to represent both of you. Getting your own prenup lawyer can help you better understand your specific state’s jurisdictions and the possibilities for your agreement under state-specific law. Be sure to fully understand your state’s requirements before proceeding without a prenup lawyer to avoid any penalties.
Choosing the Right Prenup Lawyer
Choosing the right prenup lawyer is crucial, and can help save you time and money down the line in case your marriage does end in divorce. Contrary to the negative beliefs about prenuptial agreements, having one in place and seeking counsel from a prenup lawyer can actually help you lower your attorney’s fees and help ease some of the emotional stress that comes with a divorce.
At Daniele Johnson & Associates, we’re here to listen to your unique concerns and draft an agreement that protects the interests of our clients. We want the somewhat prickly process to be as painless as possible, and we want to be sure you have all the information you need to make the best decisions in your prenuptial agreement. Call us today at 470-746-6485 or visit us online to schedule your consultation with Atlanta’s family lawyers, so we can help you protect what matters most.