If you need to write a prenuptial agreement template, you might have been shopping around online for a prenup example. You can use basic prenuptial agreement forms to help you to get the right prenuptial agreement format in place for your prenup template. This is a very important document that you will need to be sure you have written correctly in case it needs to be used in the future.
There are many reasons that you might want to write and sign a prenuptial agreement template, and if you have assets that you are trying to protect, this is probably an essential legal document related to your marriage. Knowing how to create a prenuptial agreement template is important for many reasons, and the fairness and effectiveness of your document depend on its accuracy.
Table of Contents
- 1 Prenuptial Agreement Templates
- 2 What is a prenup?
- 3 Can you DIY a prenup?
- 4 Prenup Examples
- 5 Can you handwrite a prenup?
- 6 What does a fair prenup look like?
- 7 Prenuptial Agreement Forms
- 8 What do I write in a prenup?
- 9 Prenuptial Agreement Format
- 10 Can a prenup be found to be invalid?
- 11 Prenuptial Agreements Can be Very Important to a Marriage
Prenuptial Agreement Templates
What is a prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a document that is created to protect the assets that spouses bring into a marriage with them. This can be ownership of a company, stocks, bonds, and investments, or any personal effects that the other party should not be able to assume ownership of upon divorce. The more assets that someone owns when they get married, the more complex your prenuptial agreement template might need to be.
Some common assets that need to be protected by a prenuptial agreement are:
- Retirement accounts
There is a common misconception that only famous people or the very wealthy need to create prenuptial agreement templates when they are getting married. This is not actually the case, and if you own any kind of asset that you do not want to pass to your spouse or split with them upon getting divorced, you need to have a prenuptial in place to protect these assets.
Can you DIY a prenup?
The answer to this depends upon the state that you are getting married in. In most cases, you cannot write your own prenup and have it be legally binding. You will have to have a lawyer draft your prenup and handle the process of making sure it is valid and signed for it to be enforceable in a court of law.
That being said, you can create the draft of this document on your own before you take it to your lawyer to be reviewed and written up properly. This is an important document with legal ramifications that you will want to be sure everyone can agree upon. Being sloppy or casual about writing this document is never a good idea.
Make sure that you include all the right components in your prenup when you write it yourself. Even if you don’t have to take your prenup to a lawyer to have it legally binding, you need to be sure that you are including everything in the document that is necessary to make it useful to protect your assets. This is not the kind of document that you want to get wrong when you are creating it.
Can you handwrite a prenup?
If you wish to handwrite your prenup, it will still be considered valid if certain criteria are met. This is true of nearly all legal documents, but it is unlikely that lawyers will handwrite a document they have been asked to draft. Your prenup will need to meet the following criteria to be considered valid, whether it is handwritten or not:
- Was it signed by both parties?
- Was it signed voluntarily by both parties with an understanding of the provisions in it?
- Did both parties disclose their financial circumstances in the document?
- Was the document reviewed by a lawyer?
Handwritten legal documents are not common because of the potential for issues with legibility and confusion related to errors made in the spelling of certain parts of the document. Typed legal documents are the industry standard for the sake of clarity, but you might be able to have a lawyer look at and refine a handwritten document so that it can be legally binding.
While you might want to handwrite your first version of your prenuptial agreement template, you will need to consider having the final document typed so that it is easier to read and more likely to be correct and complete.
What does a fair prenup look like?
There are some conditions that must be met for your prenuptial agreement template to be considered fair. In some situations, there will be an equitable way to split up assets that people getting married bring into the marriage, but you can try to be sure that both you and your spouse are going to be financially secure if you should divorce.
Fair prenups have these things in common:
- They shield both parties from financial problems
- They protect the assets that belong to each party at the time of the marriage
- They offer a complete disclosure of all assets that both parties own when they get married
- They do not allow either party to take, buy, or sell assets that are not their own
There are many specific details that you might want to include in your prenuptial agreement template, but you do need to be sure that you are not going to be impacting the other party involved in the prenup negatively when you ask them to sign the document.
Prenuptial Agreement Forms
What do I write in a prenup?
Writing a prenup can be complicated if you have a lot of assets that you want to protect. You will need to be sure as well that both you and your spouse fully disclose all of your finances in the prenuptial for it to be considered valid and binding. You cannot skip over the hard parts of the process and create a prenuptial that will be considered legally binding.
1. Name the Parties
This is the section where you will name both you and your spouse by your full legal name. You will want to indicate that this is a prenuptial agreement for your marriage and give the effective date of the prenuptial agreement in the first section of the document. This is key information because you do not want your prenuptial agreement to have the wrong date on it and be considered invalid.
Making sure that you and your spouse are correctly named in this section of the document is important as well. You cannot enforce a legal document that does not have the correct names listed on it. This is a common oversight that happens when people draft their own prenup agreements because they use nicknames or incomplete legal names for the two parties involved in the agreement.
2. Disclose Finances
You and your spouse will both need to disclose your finances in this section of the prenuptial agreement template. This is the section where both you and your spouse disclose your businesses, properties, assets, funds, and other valuables that you are bringing with you into the marriage. You will need to be sure that all of your assets are listed here so that the document can be considered complete and correctly crafted.
This can be tedious, but you will need to take the time to ensure that this part of the work is done correctly. Even if you have left out an asset in error, you can be held accountable for this oversight later, during a divorce. You also do not want to leave out any assets that you do not want to pass through the divorce and be split up.
3. State-Specific Rights of Each party
You will use this section to discuss the rights of each party. Each party will have a set of rights that they can access during a divorce. You might want to state which kinds of assets will be split during a divorce and which assets will not be split in this section for further clarity. You can also refer to state or county legalities that you want to have disclosed in this section of the prenup agreement as well.
This is one of the key sections of your prenup that will eliminate the need for arguing during a divorce. You will have a set of legal guidelines about what will need to be split up or sold during the divorce process and what cannot be split up, sold, or taken.
This section might also include information about parenting rights, although this is an inclusion that is very controversial and that does not often hold up in a court of law. The parenting plan that is created by your lawyer and the judge when you get divorced will supersede any considerations to do with children that are placed in the prenup agreement. In some cases, pets have been included in this section, but these demands have sometimes not been honored as well.
4. Discussion of Debts
While it is assumed that debts associated with the assets that will not be shared or split during a divorce will not pass on to either spouse when the divorce is complete, it can be a good idea to state which kinds of items might involve shared debt. These might be things like cars that you both own, properties that you bought together, and high-dollar valuables that you co-own.
Any item that has both of your names on the loan documents will fall into this heading. While you may not know what these items will be in the future, you can name which kinds of debts you expect to be considered in this part of the prenup if there should be a need to get divorced in the future. This can help to smooth the way with regard to selling and splitting responsibility for these kinds of assets if you do end up getting divorced.
Both you and your spouse will need to sign your prenup for it to be valid. There will need to be a date for each signature as well. Your signatures will indicate that you have both agreed to the document and that it is considered to be legally binding.
Prenuptial Agreement Format
Can a prenup be found to be invalid?
If your prenup is not signed or if it does not include enough financial information, it might not hold up in court. The other reason that prenups can sometimes be invalidated in a court of law is if they are seen as being so one-sided that they are completely unfair. This suggests coercion, or it could mean that one spouse was not given an accurate accounting of what was included in the document before they signed it. Even though it is your responsibility to carefully read any legal document that you sign, when marriages are involved, sometimes people agree to things due to stress or a lack of understanding of the document.
Prenuptial agreements that are found to be invalid cannot help either you or your spouse to split up your assets in the instance that you get divorced, so you will want to avoid this outcome at all costs.
Prenuptial Agreements Can be Very Important to a Marriage
If you have been wondering how to preserve your assets and investments in properties when you get married, you will need to draft a prenuptial agreement that makes sure that your spouse is not entitled to those assets if you ever get divorced. This document needs to be fair and correctly written to be legally valid, and it needs to be signed with free will by both parties.
Creating a legally-binding prenuptial agreement template can make the process of handling your joint assets much easier, and it can make your divorce process much less stressful. This is not a legal document that is solely for the wealthy or for famous people, and anyone might want to use this document to protect their finances in the event that they do get divorced from their spouse. Make sure that you know how to write this critical document so that you do not run into issues during a possible divorce that could have been avoided.