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Working with the Client’s Initial Prenuptial Agreement Draft
Clients will often come to attorneys with a draft of a prenuptial agreement hoping to cut down on the cost thinking they have already done a majority of the work. What many clients do not realize is that there are several formalities in every state which must be met in order for the agreement to be found legal and valid. Additionally, clients might not realize everything that should be or could be included in the agreement. Clients want to ensure that their attorney is not only drafting a document that is according to their wishes, but that will also stand up to a challenge legally. This often means balancing your wishes with ensuring that formalities are met.
Individuals should make sure they are not just using a form they have found. A party should hire an attorney to make sure that the prenuptial agreements meets their needs. A party will also want to make sure that the attorney is checking with the specific laws in their state. There are various differences in state law concerning prenuptial agreements and these can affect the validity of any prenuptial agreement.
Schedules of assets and debts are also required in most states for a prenuptial agreement to be valid. Thus, it is important to provide an attorney the following (and this list is not all-inclusive):
Again, it is the attorney’s responsibility to draft an agreement that is valid. However, be sure to communicate with your attorney thoroughly about your goals at the same time. Make sure as well that you have ample opportunity to review any prenuptial agreement before signing. You want to have a draft given to you in writing far in advance of execution. This way, you have ample time to communicate with your attorney regarding any questions you may have or any potential amendments. It is vital as well that any prenuptial agreement be signed after a full and fair disclosure of assets and liabilities, with both parties having an attorney representing them and that it is not under duress, undue influence or coercion.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
All property and debts are distributed in a Missouri divorce. If the parties cannot reach an agreement as to the division of property, the court will generally divide all property acquired during the marriage except for inherited property. Missouri divorce laws provide for an equitable distribution of all property during the marriage.
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