In most divorce proceedings, each spouse is responsible for his or her own attorney’s fees and litigation costs. The court does, however, have the power to require one party to cover all or a portion of the opposing party’s reasonable attorney’s fees. This will depend on the financial resources of both parties and the facts of the case. Either party may request for the other to pay attorney’s fees. It is at the judge’s discretion as to whether that is ordered or not.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract made between two parties who intend to be wed. This agreement outlines many provisions, usually related to finances and property, which the parties want to agree to prior to being married. Such agreements may include:
- The rights to property owned prior to being married;
- The right to spousal maintenance or the elimination of spousal maintenance should the marriage end;
- The characterization of property acquired during the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can be useful for parties with significant assets. A prenuptial agreement must be signed by both parties as well as notarized by a notary prior to being filed in the couple’s county of residence. A prenuptial agreement may be amended or terminated by the parties after the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement may be invalidated for one of the following reasons:
- The agreement was not signed voluntarily;
- The agreement was unconscionable when signed;
- Prior to signing the agreement the party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party; did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party; and did not have or could not have had adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
The parties may also agree to revoke the premarital agreement. This must be done by drafting a formal written revocation signed by both parties.
Premarital agreements can be difficult to draft and the intricacy of the drafting makes it very important that you retain a competent family law attorney that can assist you in drafting an enforceable premarital agreement.