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Prenuptial agreements can be invalid if not done properly

Tennessee couples headed for the altar do so with high hopes their marriage won’t end up a divorce statistic. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case the unthinkable happens. One way to do this is with a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements protect assets each spouse brings into the marriage. It can specify whether spousal support would be paid if the marriage ends in divorce. It can also specify what the surviving spouse would inherit if the other spouse dies, especially if the couple is older and have children from previous marriages they want to be their primary heirs. A prenup also could include provision for division of household chores. It all depends on what the couple wants.

A prenuptial agreement can include almost anything a couple wants as long as it is in writing. Oral agreements aren’t valid because proof of intent isn’t there – it can turn into a ‘he said, she said” situation. Other reasons a prenup can be invalidated include one person putting undue pressure on the other to sign the agreement. A prenup also is not valid if it’s not signed by both parties. Not giving a person sufficient time to read it also may invalidate a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements shouldn’t be viewed as a prelude to divorce. They needn’t be complicated, but the more assets a person has, the more complex the agreement could become. To make sure the agreement is binding and valid, each person may want to retain a separate family law attorney to review it before it is signed.

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