Protecting your hard-earned wealth in the unhappy event of a divorce is just one of the many reasons you may want a prenuptial agreement. It can also be used to assist in estate and financial planning and to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of each person’s rights and responsibilities during marriage. You will each know where you stand and can manage your expectations accordingly. A valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement gives both spouses clarity about financial issues and lays the groundwork for a solid future. If the marriage does end, a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement can significantly reduce the issues involved in a divorce and the costs associated therewith.
Under Nevada law, a prenuptial agreement can cover the following:
The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
The modification or elimination of alimony or support or maintenance of a spouse;
The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
While having a prenuptial agreement can make management of the key questions in a divorce much easier, it can also introduce a critical element of financial planning. Having both spouses on the same page before the marriage helps eliminate confusion and disputes down the line.
The prenuptial agreement will not be worth the paper it is written on unless it is valid and enforceable. In order for it to be valid and enforceable in Las Vegas, the prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It should also be notarized. The prenuptial agreement must be executed voluntarily, knowingly and free from any fraud, coercion or duress. Both parties should be represented by their own, respective, independent legal counsel. The prenuptial agreement cannot be unconscionable when it was executed. Each party must be provided with a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property and debts of the other party or they must have waived their right to do so and they did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property and debts of the other party.
Time is also important in evaluating the validity and enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. Presenting it for the first time just before the wedding is a sure way to get the prenuptial agreement thrown out. Do not risk it; plan ahead.
There are many other crucial considerations in preparing a prenuptial agreement. If you have questions, contact Shawn M. Goldstein, an experienced Las Vegas prenuptial agreement lawyer who has helped protect billions of dollars in assets with prenuptial agreements.