By Ky M. Koch
It is very important to plan early in the development, negotiation, and signing of a Prenuptial Agreement. Although this is a very uncomfortable process and easy to delay or ignore, that would be a very dangerous approach.
Waiting until the last minute could result in an invalid Prenuptial Agreement.
Although the law says that Prenuptial Agreements are to be treated the same as any other contract, they clearly are not. The reason is that much emotion and unequally distributed power, surround the development of a Prenuptial Agreement. Most often, it is the party with the vast majority of the money who wants the Prenuptial Agreement. They are the ones who hire attorneys to draft the Agreement. Also, it is the less-monied spouse who is scrambling to find a lawyer to represent them, only to find out that the lawyer tells them not to sign the Agreement, tells them that they are entitled to much more under the law, and warns them that they are giving up way too much.
This is how Prenuptial Agreements typically play out.
Waiting until the last minute, places an Agreement’s viability in jeopardy. The closer to the wedding date that the Agreement is signed, the more precarious the Agreement. The failure of sufficient time to consider the Agreement, retain, consult with, and negotiate through a lawyer, the unwillingness to cancel significant wedding plans, are all defenses which are raised in contests to challenge the validity of a Prenuptial Agreement.
The bottom line is that these issues should never be permitted to see the light of day. Proper planning easily avoids these problems. The best method is to negotiate and sign your Prenuptial Agreement before even setting a wedding date.
Begin the uncomfortable conversations early on and resolve the issues before planning your wedding. Get it out of the way. Plan ahead.