DC Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer 

In Washington, DC, a valid premarital agreement requires voluntary sharing of information for the other spouse to review. A DC premarital agreement lawyer can help you compile the necessary information to share with a spouse. An experienced family lawyer can clarify the important facts to consider when creating a premarital agreement.

Premarital Agreement Misconceptions 

The most common misconception regarding premarital agreements is that requiring a premarital agreement or asking one’s fiancée to sign a prenuptial agreement means that they do not trust their spouse, or that two spouses cannot trust one another. It is unfortunate that this misconception exists, as a premarital agreement can actually strengthen relationships and can provide both spouses the security of knowing how marital assets will be divided and whether or not one spouse will receive alimony payments in case of a divorce.  

Common Assumptions about Dividing Assets

DC premarital agreement lawyers have seen that discussing and negotiating the terms of how the assets will be divided can actually strengthen a relationship. It allows both couples to understand on a deeper level what their partner considers to be a fair and reasonable situation if the marriage does end. 

Another common misconception is that a premarital agreement only protects the wealthier spouse. This is not true as the prenup can provide for any division of assets which both spouses agree upon. In many cases, it will provide for alimony payments that are higher than what is typically awarded to enable the spouse who is financially dependent on their partner. 

Role of Potential Clients

The requirement of both parties enter into the agreement voluntarily includes full financial disclosure and adequate time to review that information. It is important to note that a valid and otherwise fully executed premarital agreement does not actually become valid until the parties do get married. They can abide by all of the requirements in the law but if they choose not to get married, the premarital agreement will be void. 

Drafting Premarital Agreement 

The most common mistake made when attempting to draft a premarital agreement is failing to take into account the time that it takes to come to an agreement on all the different terms that will be included in a typical premarital agreement. Couples often decide that they want a premarital agreement before the wedding takes place.

Often, they do not realize that there are often many drafts of the agreement that may need to be passed back and forth. The terms will need to be negotiated and tend to be more of an emotional discussion than most people foresee.  

Another common mistake that people make is failing to disclose assets before the prenuptial agreement is signed. The law requires that both parties enter into the agreement voluntarily. They must voluntarily disclose all of their assets and debts. This enables their partner to make a fully informed decision about what rights they may be giving up or what obligations they may have to their partner under state law in the event of the end of the marriage.

Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

It is important to consult with a lawyer because it is important to ensure that it is drafted correctly, that it makes legal and practical sense, and that the circumstances under which it is executed do not raise questions regarding its validity at a later date, thereby risking that the entire agreement may be declared void. 

Although an attorney is not required for an agreement to be valid, it is important that both parties have separate legal representation. A person cannot have one attorney representing both sides as they will not be able to provide fully informed independent legal review if the same person is attempting to provide advice to both parties. 

Hiring a Lawyer

Full disclosure is necessary for the agreement to be valid. If one party fails to disclose a substantial asset or substantial debt, it can result in the entire agreement being declared null and void thereafter. People often attempt to draft the premarital agreement without an attorney and the understanding what state law determines a fair division of marital assets. 

It is extremely hard to determine what types of terms should be included in the premarital agreement and to actually evaluate whether or not those terms are fair and reasonable. Without the help of a DC premarital agreement lawyer, it may be difficult to determine whether the terms in the agreement are fair overall.