Prenuptial agreements have been in existence for decades, but always seem to get the most attention from the outlandish clauses rumored to be in certain wealthy individuals’ agreements. From infidelity clauses to shopping budgets, to the more standard child support and asset distribution language, every prenuptial agreement differs. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple, that becomes effective upon the event of marriage.
How to Make a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
While not every couple finds that they need to enter into a prenuptial agreement, there are many benefits to doing so. Not only are assets and debts put on the table to be discussed prior to entering into a legal contract that integrates a majority of the couple’s property, but the couple is able to sort out any differences or misunderstandings they may have about either debts of one party or assets of one party. Many couples who come into a marriage with rights to a family business or assets they seek to ensure, commonly at the direction of the family, that will not become either shared or sole ownership of the other spouse in the event of a dissolution of the marriage.
In Ohio, to have a valid prenuptial agreement, both parties must disclose all of the property they own prior to signing the agreement, in order to ensure both are fully informed. In addition to listing assets, both must list any debts they are bringing to the marriage. Although having an attorney draft or review the agreement is not legally mandatory, it gives the notion of separate and uninfluenced decision making by each party. If you and your spouse do decide to enlist the assistance of an attorney, make sure it is not the same attorney or any two that have a common interest. Once the contract’s terms have been agreed upon, each spouse must sign the agreement in the presence of the other, along with two witnesses.
Another way prenuptial agreements get a bad reputation is by one spouse presenting a contract to the other a week or even a day before the marriage, wanting them to sign it immediately. This kind of behavior can render the contract unenforceable in court. The more time that is given for the parties to discuss, amend, and come to agreement, the more likely the court is going to find the document to be enforceable.
Considering a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements can be a useful tool for a couple and can help sort out a number of issues regarding assets and debt. If you or someone you know is considering signing a prenuptial agreement, call the experienced legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at (614) 228 – 3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or [email protected].