The following article will cover:
- The importance of legal representation when signing a prenuptial agreement.
- The consequences and steps if one party breaches a prenuptial agreement.
- Alternatives to suing for breach of contract in prenuptial agreements.
Do Both Parties Need to Have An Attorney Present When Signing A Prenuptial Agreement?
While it’s important to distinguish between necessity and advisability, it is indeed recommended that both parties have legal representation when signing a prenuptial agreement. This is a legally enforceable contract with potentially significant implications for your future.
If one party, typically the less wealthy, declines legal representation, it is essential to explicitly acknowledge this choice in both written correspondence and in the prenuptial agreement itself. The agreement should clearly state that they have been advised of their right to counsel and are willingly waiving this right.
Additionally, it’s crucial to affirm the role of each attorney involved – e.g., “I am not acting as a mediator” – if that’s the case. To prevent future attempts to invalidate the agreement based on perceived misrepresentation, it’s important to state explicitly in the agreement that the attorney is am representing the interests of one’s client, not mediating between the parties (unless, of course, the attorney is acting pursuant to a mediation retainer).
To answer the original question directly: no, it is not legally required for both parties to have an attorney present when signing a prenuptial agreement. However, much like you’d want legal representation when facing serious criminal charges, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a lawyer before entering into any substantial legal contract, including a prenuptial agreement.
What Happens If One Party Breaches a Prenuptial Agreement?
If one party breaches a prenuptial agreement, it’s typically advisable to issue a default notice letter. The parties may also seek marriage counseling. While a direct conversation may sometimes resolve the issue, formal documentation is necessary if verbal discussions fail. However, this action may suggest that the marriage is beginning to falter, and consulting a divorce or separation attorney might also be advisable.
To enforce the prenuptial agreement, you could potentially sue for breach of contract, though this is rarely pursued. More commonly, the prenuptial agreement is enforced through a legal separation or divorce proceeding.
For more information on Signing 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.