Do you think that prenuptial agreements are only for the rich? Many people do, but nothing could be further from the truth. Prenuptial agreements, also referred to as “prenups” or “antenuptial” agreements, are used for many different purposes these days. The person best suited to help you decide whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you is an experienced family lawyer.
Why a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer?
Contrary to popular belief, prenups aren’t just for people with many assets. Here are a few of the issues that may lead couples to seek a prenuptial agreement:
- defining property as marital or separate;
- providing for kids from prior marriages; and
- keeping preexisting debt separate.
- experienced family lawyers have worked with every issue along the spectrum of family law, from prenuptial agreements through divorce or death. They have watched couples and families grow and have seen, first-hand, how prenups play out in the long run. They know the issues that come up over and over.
In addition, they have substantive legal experience protecting the interest of their clients. They are experts in family law in the states in which they are licensed. This means that they know what it takes to form a binding prenuptial agreement, whatever your goal.
Working with a seasoned prenuptial agreement attorney ensures that you are properly advised about your rights when entering into a prenup. One of the top reasons prenuptial agreements are later invalidated is that one of the parties did not have independent legal advice before the agreement was signed. This makes the advice of an experienced prenuptial lawyer even more valuable.
How Do I Find an Experienced Prenuptial Lawyer?
Finding an experienced prenuptial lawyer is not usually difficult, although it may take some time. You can start by searching online or in your local telephone book to identify a pool of candidates. Many communities and bar organizations maintain lawyer referral services. This can be a good place to find potential candidates, as well. Once you have identified potential candidates, narrow the list by using your contacts.
Ask friends who they have used personally for family law issues, or contact local support groups for referrals. Personal referrals can be the best way to find an experienced lawyer because you can speak openly about the qualities possessed by candidates and how well each candidate might fit with your needs and personality. You can also learn more about lawyers online at services like Avvo, Nolo, and Martindale and on individual attorney or firm websites.
After you have narrowed your choices to three or four, verify that your “finalists” carry an active license in the state where you live. You can then schedule in-person or telephone interviews with your candidates to evaluate issues like these:
- their level of experience with prenuptial agreements;
- their desire to work with you;
- the fit of their personality and communication style with yours.
An experienced prenuptial lawyer who is licensed in your state is best suited to advise you about whether you can benefit from a prenup. Start out your marriage on the right foot—with full communication about your assets, debts, and financial expectations.