Why Executing a Prenup without an Attorney is a TERRIBLE idea

Our Firm handles all types of divorce cases. We often get clients who initially filed for divorce by themselves and thought the divorce would be easy since they signed a prenuptial agreement ("prenup" for short) prior to marrying. Unfortunately, many of these DIY (Do-It-Yourself) divorce parties also drafted and signed their prenups by themselves and neglected to hire attorneys to help them do it.

As a result, their DIY prenups get invalidated or thrown out by a divorce court and the parties are forced to re-negotiate all of the major issues (property division, spousal support, 401K division) as if the prenup never existed in the first place! When a divorce judge invalidates a prenup, it inevitably leads to the parties taking each other to court due to disagreements over the major issues of the divorce; which is ironic, since avoiding litigation was the original purpose of the prenup!

Couples who draft their own prenups often get the prenup thrown out by a divorce judge for many reasons including but not limited to: 1) they failed to follow the correct procedure for drafting and executing a prenup; 2) the content of the prenup does not comply with existing law; and 3) the fact that one or both parties were not represented by attorneys automatically invalidates part or all of the prenup.

This is precisely why partners who intend on getting a prenup should each hire his/her own independent attorney to represent him/her for the drafting, review, and negotiation of the prenup. Drafting a prenuptial agreement is not something a non-attorney can simply Google. Just like it's never a good idea to diagnose your medical condition with the WebMD website as opposed to seeing a doctor, it's never a good idea to draft and execute legally binding documents without the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Prenup attorneys serve many roles which include the following: ensuring that the procedure for the drafting; negotiation; and execution of the prenup complies with existing law, ensuring that the actual content/substance of the prenup complies with existing law, answering questions that their clients have about the legal consequences of provisions in the prenup, and equally important, ensuring that the other party/attorney is not taking advantage of their client during the process.

If you have any questions about prenups or are interested in getting a prenup, do not hesitate to contact us!

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