For many couples whether they have a substantial amount of wealth or not, they choose to draft prenuptial agreements that will help them maintain control in the event of a divorce. Each term in these documents is carefully drafted and each word is carefully chosen. In order to draft the document, each spouse was required to fully disclose their finances both in terms of assets and liabilities. But what happens when a couple who drafts an agreement in California moves to New York?
In some cases, a document comes under scrutiny simply because the state in which it was drafted had different requirements than the state in which the couple sought to enforce the agreement. In other instances, a document is called into question because of a presumption that an agreement which favors one wealthy spouse could have been entered into involuntarily by the less wealthy partner. And any confusion has the potential to cause problems; do you remember the McCourt’s? So how do we all get on the same page?
The Uniform Law Commission is a group of individuals in the legal profession whether practicing lawyers, judges or even law professors. The group recently proposed a new set of rules that would help streamline the process for drafting a prenuptial agreement and create uniformity across state lines. A more uniform process would help protect the intentions of the individuals who created the agreement.
These new rules allegedly ensure that they are “fairly negotiated form the beginning,” as stated by one of the professors who helped in the drafting of the rules. Postnuptial agreements were also included in the new set of rules. These documents are much rarer than their counterpart entered into prior to the marriage. The new rules were proposed to help create uniformity, but could they change the level of control held by individuals?
Source: Financial Adviser, “New Prenuptial Rules Aim to Get States on Same Page,” Arden Dale, Aug. 15, 2012