A marriage contract can help make the property division aspect of a divorce quicker and easier, but it needs to be done correctly for you to get the full benefits. A marriage contract lets the two parties decide how they will divide their assets and deal with other financial matters in the event of a divorce.
Since drafting and signing a marriage contract usually comes into discussion well before either party is considering a separation, it’s common for couples to think that they don’t need to consult a lawyer. However, a lawyer can help in both the development of the marriage contract and the execution, if needed, later on.
For a marriage contract to be valid, it’s very important that the terms follow the guidelines of the law and do not include anything illegal or what the courts might deem as superfluous. In these situations, the court may find that the marriage contract is not legally valid and set the entire contract aside. Talking with a lawyer as you draft the marriage contract and decide what to include can help ensure that you don’t mistakenly include something you shouldn’t, which could cause problems down the road.
A lawyer can also talk with you about your particular needs and situation and help you ensure that the marriage contract protects your interests and rights. It’s common for a marriage contract to have to go through a few rounds of revisions as the particulars are ironed out. In most cases, it is best for both parties to have separate legal counsel review the proposed marriage contract before signing.
Source: FindLaw, “Marriage contracts,” accessed July 24, 2015
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