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Do I have to sign the prenup my fiancé has given me?

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When it comes to the subject of prenuptial agreements, the important thing to remember is that everyone's situation is different. For some couples, they may have been married before and therefore come to their next marriage with a considerable amount of assets. For them, a prenuptial agreement is about protecting what they had in the event that divorce should strike twice. For others, the situation may be very different.

Take for example couples who are getting married for the first time. For couples in this situation, they wouldn't have a previous divorce to look back at and know what to do differently with their next marriage. As a result, first-marriage couples may not think about the usefulness of a prenup nor would they know how to enforce one if the situation arose.

It's because of this fact that we're asking the question above:

Do I have to sign the prenup my fiancé has given me?

It's a commonly asked question here in Maryland, as well as across the nation, because of most people's narrow understanding of the law. To help educate our Montgomery County readers, we'd like to explain why you don't have to sign a prenup just because your fiancé hands you one.

Because prenuptial agreements are considered a contract, both parties need to be aware of what they are signing and in agreement with the terms of the contract. If either of these conditions isn't met, the prenuptial agreement may not be considered enforceable.

Another thing that could invalidate a prenuptial agreement is the conditions in which each party signed the agreement. If either of the parties was under duress or was coerced into signing it, a court may find the agreement unenforceable upon divorce.

In order to guarantee the enforcement of a prenuptial agreement down the road, most couples have a lawyer experienced in family law review the document before both parties sign it. In some cases though, a couple may not have sought legal representation prior to signing, making it a possible necessity when questions of enforcement arise later on.

Source: FindLaw, "Top 10 Reasons a Premarital Agreement May be Invalid," Accessed July 20, 2015

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