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Premarital Agreements in Nevada
More couples, including same sex couples, are utilizing premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements, in an attempt to avoid the high cost of divorce. One who gets married in Nevada without a prenuptial agreement is expressly consenting to be bound by the laws of Nevada in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements may not be considered “romantic,” but ugly divorces are even less romantic. Approximately one-half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. It is generally easier to address potential problems or issues before marriage rather than after marriage. If you and your spouse cannot agree on terms for a prenuptial agreement, what does that say about your prospective marriage? Moreover, prenuptial agreements do not just protect the wealthier party. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement may provide both parties protection under Nevada law. In Nevada, unlike some states, alimony may be addressed, or even waived in a properly drafted prenuptial agreement.
In sum, it is better to discuss and resolve the “tough issues” before marriage, rather than upon a possible divorce. The are many specific issues and personal decisions that must be addressed in a prenuptial agreement and they are generally enforceable if prepared by an experienced family law attorney. While many lawyers believe they are qualified to prepare a prenuptial agreement, extensive family court experience is essential. Pecos Law Group has extensive experience in the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial agreements.
Prenuptial Agreements are Generally Favored in Nevada
Recent court decisions around the nation suggest that a properly drafted prenuptial agreement will likely be enforced. Although no prenuptial agreement can possibly address every possible issue, nor can an attorney insure its enforceability, Nevada cases as well as those around the country suggested if the prenuptial agreement is properly drafted and the proper safeguards utilized, it will be enforced. The basics of a properly enforceable prenuptial agreement include full disclosure, independent counsel and voluntary. Although not necessarily required, basic fairness should also be part of the agreement.
The party attempting to avoid enforcement of the agreement has the burden to show that the agreement was reached involuntarily; the agreement was unconscionable when executed; or the party was not provided fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party’s property, the party did not voluntarily and expressly waive in writing any right to disclosure and the party did not have or could not have had adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
No agreement can provide “iron-clad” protection, but with the proper planning, properly drafted agreement and post-marital conduct that is consistent with the agreement, one may significantly enhance his or her chances of having an enforceable agreement.

Pre-marriage Background Checks

While prenuptial, or premarital agreements, have been popular for years, private investigators are increasingly performing background checks on prospective spouses. Investigators around the country report that their business has seen an increase in pre-marriage background checks with people wanting to confirm whether their prospective spouse has any financial or other secrets that may caste doubt on the marriage.

The new trend is likely attributable by the increase of online dating and online relationships. It is certainly more difficult to “know” someone through an online relationship and a background check may give a prospective spouse some “peace of mind” before getting married. While many have income or assets to protect, many simply want to make sure that they are getting involved with someone legitimate and not any type of scam. Costs will range depending on how in depth an investigation is sought, but an individual can sometimes learn a significant amount of information just by googling a person. Investigators may find nothing, but in some cases find “undisclosed debt, criminal convictions, hidden addictions and infidelity.”

Persons ordering a background check on his or her prospective spouse, however, should be cautious. First, the thought of having a background check performed may be a red flag for getting married in the first place. Further, if a relationship is going to be based on trust, what does a background check say about the relationship? A background check can be particularly problematic if the person being investigated finds out. Ultimately, however, in a situation where the prospective spouses really do not know each other that well, a background check may be “better safe, then sorry.”

Why Professional Athletes Should Have Prenuptial Agreements
Almost one-half of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. It is far easier to identify potential problems in a future marriage, or address the issues in a future divorce, in a prenuptial agreement, than at the time of divorce. If you and your prospective spouse cannot agree on terms in order to make each of you feel comfortable about that the marriage, that is a definite red flag. Moreover, it could indicate that your future spouse may be difficult should a divorce unfortunately become inevitable.
Prenuptial agreements are especially important for professional athletes whom generally have a career that may last only several years. Large incomes over a limited period of time present unique challenges to marital and divorce planning, as well as general financial planning. Other issues such as personal goodwill are far easier to address in a prenuptial agreement than at divorce.
Contrary to popular belief, prenuptial agreements do not only protect the wealthier party. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement may provide both parties protection under Nevada law. This is especially important for the financially dependent spouse when the earning spouse has only a few years of peak income. In Nevada, unlike some states, alimony may be addressed, or even waived in a properly drafted prenuptial agreement.
Not every lawyer is qualified to prepare a prenuptial agreement. Not only is drafting and negotiation experience necessary, but an attorney with significant family court litigation experience is essential. Pecos Law Group has extensive experience in drafting, seeking enforcement, and defending against prenuptial agreements.

Post Nuptial Agreements
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, but they are entered into between spouses after marriage, rather than before. The scope of what a postnuptial agreement may accomplish is more limited than a prenuptial agreement and the enforcement is more scrutinized by the courts than prenuptial agreements. Postnuptial agreements remain relatively untested in Nevada, but may be useful in certain instances.
Reasons for a postnuptial agreement vary. Sometimes, spouses either did not have time or consider entering a prenuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement may also be used to modify or update a prenuptial agreement. Sometimes, one spouse may want to take advantage of an infidelity or other marital misconduct by obtaining a larger portion of community assets. A spouse may offer a generous postnuptial agreement to show his or her commitment to the marriage. It is also common for a married couple to use a postnuptial agreement as part of a broader estate planning tool.
As with a prenuptial agreement, both parties should be represented by counsel, there should be full disclosure of finances and it should be fair.

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