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Essentials of a Premarital Agreement

A premarital agreement, or prenup, is a legal document that couples sign before getting married to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. Prenups also promote financial transparency. In Nevada, prenups are governed by state law (NRS Chapter 123A) and must meet specific requirements to be legally enforceable.

Here are the essentials of a prenup in Nevada:

  1. Written agreement: A prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties (preferably more than 30 days before the legal wedding). Oral contracts are not enforceable.
  2. Full financial disclosure: Both parties must fully disclose their assets, debts, and incomes in the prenup. Failure to disclose all assets and debts can render the prenup unenforceable.
  3. Voluntary agreement: Both parties must enter into the prenup voluntarily, free of duress or coercion. If one party is unduly pressured to sign the prenup, it may not be legally enforceable later. For example, suppose a spouse is presented with a prenup just days before a wedding when dozens of family members have already flown into town for the wedding. In that case, they may feel pressured to sign it.
  4. Fair and reasonable: The terms of the prenup must be fair and reasonable at the time it is signed. If the terms are deemed unconscionable or overly one-sided, the prenup may be unenforceable.
  5. Legal capacity: Both parties must have legal capacity to enter into the prenup. This means they must be of sound mind and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  6. Notarization: Prenups in Nevada must be notarized to be legally enforceable.
  7. Scope: A prenup can cover various issues, including property division, spousal support, and inheritance rights. However, child custody and child support cannot be addressed in a prenup.
  8. Postnuptial agreement: If a couple did not sign a prenup before getting married, they can still enter into a postnuptial agreement, which is a similar legal document signed after the wedding. However, postnuptial agreements are more limited than prenups. For example, a postnuptial agreement cannot waive alimony.

To ensure a prenup is enforceable upon divorce, many attorneys will strongly recommend that independent counsel represents all parties.

In summary, a prenuptial agreement is a legal document that couples sign before getting married to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. A prenup must be in writing, fully disclose all assets and debts, be entered into voluntarily, be fair and reasonable, and notarized to be legally enforceable in Nevada. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney to draft and review a prenup to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and protects your interests.

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