What to Bring to a Lawyer for a Prenup

Jan 2, 2024 | Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers, Prenuptial Agreements

Ah, prenuptial agreements, or as most people like to call ‘em, prenups – the unsung heroes of modern marriages, ready to swoop in and tackle financial matters in the event of a marital plot twist. But hey, there’s no need to break a sweat navigating the legal labyrinth of prenups, such as what documentation you need to bring to your prenup lawyer. Below, we’ll walk you through everything from start to finish, including what documentation to prepare so you can strut into your lawyer’s office armed with everything you need! Let’s go!

 

Understanding prenups

So, what’s the scoop on prenuptial agreements? They are contracts between couples about to get married, and, no, you cannot sign a prenup after the wedding day. Prenups are only effective upon marriage. There are also certain legal requirements that must be met in order to have a valid and enforceable agreement. Each state has its own rules and regulations about this, and we have plenty of resources on our website for every state. 

A prenup covers topics such as property division, debt ownership, inheritances, gifts, alimony, taxes, insurance, engagement rings, infidelity (in some states), and more. Each state has its own rules as to what can and cannot go into a prenup. 

The best news is that prenups are not just for the high rollers but for everyday folks who want to protect their financial future, regardless of income level.

 

Do I need a lawyer? If so, how do I choose the right one?

There is no hard and fast requirement in most states saying you need a lawyer to create a valid and enforceable agreement as a baseline rule. HOWEVER, there are exceptions to this general rule where the requirement for a lawyer may arise. For example, if you are a Californian looking to waive spousal support in your prenup, you’ll require a lawyer for an enforceable waiver. 

Now, onto assembling your legal team–choosing the right lawyer is key. You want someone who understands your state’s laws on prenups, speaks plain English (no dense legalese, please), is skilled in negotiation/problem-solving without escalating or creating hostility, and someone who is understanding of your concerns. Do some online research, ask around, and find a prenup wizard with rave reviews. You also gain exclusive access to vetted attorneys in select states through HelloPrenup’s platform, where you can book with an attorney in a matter of a few clicks! 

 

Attorney consultation preparation: Bring your questions, financial background, and prenup goals

Before you embark on your prenup adventure, make sure to do a little prep. First and foremost, your lawyer may request a form of identification to prove that you are who you say you are (this may be dependent on each lawyer). They will also want to understand your prenup goals and your financial landscape. The more details you can provide, the better your attorney will be equipped to set up the next steps and get started. 

So, you’ll want to prepare by (1) bringing a valid form of ID, (2) understanding what goals you have for the prenup, (3) any questions you might have about the process or the prenup, and (4) understanding your assets, income, debt, and even future inheritance. 

A productive consultation is your chance to ask questions, express concerns, and ensure that the attorney truly understands your financial landscape and goals. This groundwork sets the stage for a collaborative and effective prenup process.

 

Financial disclosure: What financial documents to bring

Your attorney will also need specifics on your financials for the financial disclosure portion of your prenup. This means bank statements, loans, tax returns or paystubs, property deeds, investment portfolios – the whole shebang. Financial disclosure is the part of the prenup process where you and your partner lay it all on the table and share your financial world with one another. No, you cannot skip anything and leave anything out. Yes, you must share everything with your partner: assets, accounts, debt, income, and even future inheritances. 

Gathering these financial documents might feel a bit like assembling a puzzle, but each piece is crucial for creating an enforceable prenup. If you skip out or mislead anyone in the financial disclosure portion of the prenup, you risk getting your prenup tossed out by a court. 

Finalizing the prenup: Paperwork needed for notarization

Now, onto the grand finale – reviewing and finalizing the draft prenup. Think of the final review as the last dress rehearsal before the big show. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb with your attorney. Make sure all the terms align with your prenup goals. If any questions pop up, address them now!

Next up: finalization. This likely includes signatures, maybe some witnesses, and notarization. For notarization, you will need a form of ID to prove you are who you say you are to the notary. This essentially validates that you signed the agreement and that someone didn’t force you to sign or forge your signature. 

 

Conclusion: Here’s what you should bring to your lawyer

To sum it up, here are the following things you should bring to your lawyer for a prenup: 

  • A form of identification for the lawyer to confirm your identity (you may need to ask what they deem acceptable)
  • A form of identification for the notary to confirm your identity (what type of ID will also likely depend on what state you are in and if you are doing online notarization or not)
  • Your financial documents (bank statements, investment portfolios, loan statements, tax returns, pay stubs, etc.)
  • Your questions and concerns 
  • Your goals for the prenup
  • Your lawyer will guide you on if anything else is needed based on your unique situation.

Your prenup isn’t just a legal document; it’s a declaration of your commitment to each other’s financial well-being. So, embrace the process, communicate openly with your partner, and let the legalities serve as the backdrop to a strong and resilient marriage. Cheers to the exciting journey that lies ahead!

You are writing your life story. Get on the same page with a prenup. For love that lasts a lifetime, preparation is key. Safeguard your shared tomorrows, starting today.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. HelloPrenup, Inc. (“HelloPrenup”) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. HelloPrenup will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice. HelloPrenup provides a platform for contract related self-help. The information provided by HelloPrenup along with the content on our website related to legal matters (“Information”) is provided for your private use and does not constitute legal advice. We do not review any information you provide us for legal accuracy or sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide opinions about your selection of forms, or apply the law to the facts of your situation. If you need legal advice for a specific problem, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Neither HelloPrenup nor any information provided by Hello Prenup is a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in an appropriate jurisdiction.

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