Prenuptial agreements have become quite popular over the last few years. They help to set expectations from the beginning, and can aid in a smoother process, should a divorce occur.

However, certain stipulations in the agreement can cause it to be void in the eyes of New York courts. To prevent this, parties should include a few key elements in their prenuptial agreements.

Clear agreement

According to the laws for premarital agreements, both parties must enter the agreement willingly, and they must fully understand the document. For this reason, it is best to keep the document’s language simple and ensure the terms of the agreement are fair. While one party may leave the marriage with more than the other, a drastic difference between what the two are set to receive may cause the courts to question and alter the agreement. 

Complete disclosure

During the prenuptial agreement creation process, parties must disclose all assets they have. While parties with a high net worth may think it beneficial to limit what they share, this can actually backfire. In fact, if it comes to light that a party did not disclose and include assets in the prenup, it may void the entire document. Therefore, it is best to disclose all assets and protect them as personal property in the agreement.

Written document

Considering that the prenuptial agreement goes into place before the marriage as a possible tool for a future divorce, it must be in writing and properly witnessed. Parties may choose to sign the document with their legal counsel or a notary. All agreement modifications must be written down in the same way as the original contract. Verbal agreements are not valid.

Being careful to avoid these key mistakes can help create a solid prenuptial agreement. It is crucial to consult with a professional in matrimonial and family law to ensure the agreement is both valid and beneficial for all parties involved–and leads to a happily ever after.