The following article will cover:
- How the time required for drafting a prenuptial agreement varies based on complexity.
- How prenuptial agreements can be modified or revoked after marriage with mutual consent.
- How prenuptial agreements can address child support and custody for existing children, but enforcement for unborn or hypothetical children is questionable.
How Long Does It Generally Take to Draft A Prenuptial Agreement?
The time required to draft a prenuptial agreement can vary significantly based on the complexities of the specific case. Upon receiving the initial information and understanding your desires for the prenuptial agreement, one should generally exchange formal net worth statements with your partner. This process can be time-consuming, but it is recommended for a clear financial understanding. However, if you are comfortable with your partner’s disclosure, this step can be bypassed, and you can instead include bullet-point lists of assets, property, and debts in the agreement (usually attached to the agreement as a “schedule”).
Once these preliminary steps are completed, the core of the prenuptial agreement can be drafted. Typically, this process, including adjustments and refinements, takes about two to three weeks. However, the timeline can extend if formal net worth statements are prepared – and thus will depend on how quickly these can be completed. Some couples may take as little as a week, while others may need over a month.
If your wedding ceremony is imminent and you are under time pressure, it’s important to expedite the process to ensure the prenuptial agreement is finalized well before the wedding. Presenting a prenuptial agreement to your soon-to-be spouse just before the wedding is not recommended, as it may be perceived as coercion and increase the chance of the agreement being invalidated by a Judge in the future.
Ideally, your prenuptial agreement should be completed at least a week before the wedding ceremony. Therefore, if you’re hiring an attorney, it’s best to start the process at least one to two months prior to the wedding date. This way, you can ensure there’s sufficient time to draft and finalize the agreement without any last-minute rush.
Can A Prenuptial Agreement Be Modified or Revoked After Marriage?
Yes, a prenuptial agreement can be modified or revoked after marriage, typically upon the mutual consent of both parties. Most prenuptial agreements emphasize their binding nature and specify that any modifications must be formalized through a similar agreement. This new agreement should be professionally drafted, signed, notarized, and acknowledged by both parties.
However, if only one party desires to modify the agreement and the other opposes, modifications become challenging without judicial intervention. If you wish to change the terms of your prenuptial agreement post-marriage and your partner does not consent, depending on the importance of the changes, it might necessitate legal separation or divorce proceedings.
In such cases, it’s important to consult an attorney to explore your options. Remember, any agreement requires both parties to be in sync, and if one party resists change, it’s unfeasible to enforce it without legal action.
Do Prenuptial Agreements Cover Potential Child Support and Child Custody Issues?
Prenuptial agreements can address child support and child custody issues if the child already exists at the time of the agreement. However, if the child is unborn or hypothetical (planned for the future), the enforceability of such provisions is questionable from a legal standpoint. Judges may be unlikely to enforce clauses concerning an unborn or theoretical child.
Nevertheless, you can include statements of intent in your prenuptial agreement, such as anticipating a joint custody arrangement in case of marital breakdown. However, these provisions are almost always subject to modification based on changes in circumstances. For instance, if a spouse develops a drug or alcohol problem, or anger management issues that didn’t exist at the time of the marriage, these changes may call for reconsideration of the agreed-upon joint custody arrangement.
The key takeaway is that courts are less likely to enforce such agreements unless they’re recent and relevant to current circumstances. For instance, if you created your prenuptial agreement just a few weeks or months prior to considering divorce, the court might require compelling reasons to not honor your joint custody intent.
For more information on Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 362-3080 today.