3 common prenup mistakes and how to avoid them
The couple did not consult with separate attorneysBe sure that you and your future spouse each consult with an independent attorney. The same attorney should not advise both of you about the prenuptial agreement. Your lawyer should also not be paid by your future spouse. Pick your own lawyer, independently, without any help, consultation or financial support from your future spouse.
If you're the spouse who prepared the prenuptial agreement, resist the urge to pay for your future spouse's lawyer fees. If they cannot afford a lawyer, and you wish to help them pay for the lawyer's fee, then give them the money and advise her to spend it on the lawyer of her own choice. Do not pay their lawyer directly, as it could create a conflict of interests.
Not enough time to deliberateDo not rush the signing and reviewing process. Asking a future spouse to review a proposed prenuptial agreement on the way to the altar is unfair. Give them ample time to review the document, to consult counsel and to deliberate. A person who signs a prenuptial agreement under pressure (or after the wedding invitations have been dispatched and the flowers have been ordered) is likely to feel that they've been placed under duress or coerced to sign the document.
Lack of full disclosureBe sure to disclose all of your assets if you want somebody to sign your prenuptial agreement. Many states require that a Statement of Assets be attached to the prenuptial agreement. A person cannot rationally sign a prenuptial agreement unless they know what potential rights they are waiving by signing the document. When a party fails to disclose his assets or conceals a significant asset from his future spouse, the prenuptial agreement may be rendered invalid.