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From rappers to roofers: Anyone can use a pre-nup

Published On: Nov 25 2013 10:49:53 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 26 2013 03:21:02 AM CST

By attorney Scott Schlegel, Special to THELAW.TV

Kim Kardashian, now well versed in the act of divorce, is not letting her newfound love for Kanye West cloud her judgment, as the couple has publicly agreed to draft a prenuptial agreement.

Regardless of whether you are a millionaire rapper, and a millionaire … Kardashian, or simply two grocery cashiers, it is important to sharpen any blurred lines in your financial life before you tie the knot.

There are five main aspects to constructing, finalizing, and binding a prenuptial agreement…

The first aspect would be to involve patience and time-consistency when it comes to drawing up, making modifications, and signing the agreement. A prenuptial agreement can be over-turned if either party feels that the agreement was forced under stress, or untimely pressure. A prenuptial agreement may be a difficult issue, with its direct relation to divorce; however, it should not be stressful due to time constraint or situational pressure.

An example of this aspect: if either party of the prenuptial agreement were to make a modification and then seek approval soon before the wedding; a signature made under duress is almost as good as no signature at all.

The second aspect to most effectively formulating and finalizing a prenuptial agreement would be to understand the legal terminology involved in the contract. Legal terminology will flood the context of this agreement, thus thorough understanding of legal phrasing is imperative. The main point of a prenuptial agreement would be to differentiate between the marital assets and the separate [independent] assets that will be united in matrimony. The pursuit of better understanding of legal jargon is most effectively solved via the fifth aspect.

The third aspect to ensure a successful prenuptial agreement would be a full financial disclosure between each member of the couple. This meaning, before entering marital partnership, each member must be acutely aware of the other's assets, liabilities, and income. This may seem formal, private, and uncomfortable, but a successful marriage is built on honestly and knowledge.

The fourth aspect, dealing most directly with the finalization of the agreement, would be to ensure a valid execution. The agreement should be signed, and sealed in the presence of a witness and a notary. The most secure way to finalize the agreement would be in a professional legal setting. This provides legal accountability to the agreement, and in the unfortunate event, will be a catalyst to a clean divorce.

The last and most important aspect of the formulation and execution of the prenuptial agreement would be to involve a lawyer. The professional training a lawyer undergoes is sure to provide more accuracy and authority than Google or Wikipedia ever could. Having a family law specialized lawyer behind the prenuptial agreement is the most useful aspect a successful prenuptial agreement.

However, not any lawyer will do. You need someone who will put your issue at the forefront of their focus. Finding a law office that is well versed in family law is the most powerful ally to have in the drawing up of a prenuptial agreement, or even mediate a clean divorce.

The author, Scott Schlegel, is an Orlando, Fla., divorce lawyer.