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Proper execution is necessary for a valid prenuptial agreement

Although they tend not to be the most romantic items that engaged Phoenix couples acquire prior to their marriages, prenuptial agreements can be the most important planning tools that unmarried couples can execute to set their financial expectations during their marriages. While prenuptial agreements are often invoked when marriages end and couples divorce, they can also serve as effective communication devices for couples that need to discuss what each will bring, and potentially take, from the marriage.

It is not unusual for unmarried persons to acquire significant assets prior to choosing to wed. Because of this, a person could stand to lose significant financial wealth if their assets are not protected through a premarital contract like a prenup. While any couple may choose to execute a prenup they can be particularly useful for couples that carry with them significant assets.

In order for a prenup to be validly drafted and executed it must conform to several legally mandated criteria. First, a prenuptial agreement must be written down. Though other forms of contracts may be created orally, a prenup does not fall into this category.

Second, a prenuptial agreement must be signed before the partners to the marriage enter into their legal union. An unsigned prenup, or a prenup that has only been signed by one of the two parties, may not hold any legal weight if the parties turn to it in the event of their divorce.

Third, the parties who enter into prenuptial agreements must do so willingly. That is to say, they may not be forced or coerced into signing prenuptial contracts that they have not read, that the do not agree to, or that may not have time to review before being asked to sign. Both parties to a prenuptial agreement must have opportunities to review and comment on the document before it is fully executed.

There are a number of other issues that can arise in the drafting and executing of a prenuptial agreement. Issues such as these can cause documents to be invalidated and their contents to be ignored during divorce. With the help of committed divorce and family law attorneys couples can often avoid these problems and execute clear prenuptial agreements.

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