Monday, June 16, 2008
Should I get a Prenup, and When?
Today, I received a phone call from a client wanting a prenuptial agreement. His fiancee drafted a prenup, and gave it to him. He wants changes. His wedding is on Saturday. "It's too late," I told him.
California Family Code section 1615 (c)(2) clearly states that "It shall be deemed that a premarital agreement was not executed voluntarily unless the court finds in writing or on the record all of the following: THE PARTY AGAINST WHOM ENFORCEMENT IS SOUGHT HAD NOT LESS THAN SEVEN (7) CALENDAR DAYS BETWEEN TIME THE PARTY WAS FIRST PRESENTED WITH THE AGREEMENT AND ADVISED TO SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL COUNSEL AND THE TIME THE AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED.
Obviously, this can be interpreted in several ways. I tend to be very protective of my clients, so my policy is that the FINAL AGREEMENT must be presented and accepted as final by all parties, then a waiting period of 7 days, AND THEN signatures. The signature may even occur on the date of the wedding, but to be safe, I recommend one week. This means, you should leave yourself AT LEAST two (2) weeks prior to the wedding to have a finalized agreement.
THIS MEANS you need to hire an attorney AT LEAST 4 -6 weeks prior to your wedding, so the planning, drafting, and negotiating can take place.
If you are planning a wedding, you need to make your premarital agreement part of the process. It is THE TO-DO on your list of to-do's.
I turned down the prospective client. I told him that the prenup is no good. Beware of attorneys out there who will draft a prenup 5 days prior to the wedding. You may as well do it yourself on a piece of toilet paper, and then flush it.
If you want to learn more about premarital agreements, please read my highly-informative ARTICLE.