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6 Things You Need to Know About Prenups (Prenuptial Agreements or Antenuptial Agreements) in Ohio

Franklin County Ohio Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer, Columbus prenuptial agreement lawyer, prenuptial agreement attorney, prenuptial agreement lawyer, lawyer for prenuptial agreementA prenuptial agreement, also be called an antenuptial agreement, or “prenup”, is a contract between two parties who are soon to be married. The usual purpose is to protect property rights.  These agreements must be in writing.  See Ohio Revised Code 1335.05.

Prenup Attorney, Prenup Lawyer, Lawyer for Prenup, Ohio Lawyer for Prenuptial Agreement, Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer, Family Law Attorney prenuptial agreement1.  It is best to draft with precise language that makes the intent of the parties clear.  When the agreement includes waiving of rights provided by statute, such as the statutory right to “take against the will”, then the agreement should specifically reference with clear language what statutory rights are being waived by the agreement.

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2.  It is important that the circumstances surrounding the execution of the agreement show that the agreement was signed voluntarily, with full knowledge, that both parties had time to consider the agreement,  and both parties knew that they could consult an attorney to represent their interests.  The best practices is to (if possible) require each party to have their own attorney.  In addition, the prenuptial agreement should be signed  well before the marriage date instead of surprising one party just prior to the wedding date. A Court may inquire if the party had time to read and consider the agreement, if the party had independent counsel, or if there was coercion or undue influence as part of considering whether there is a defense such that the agreement was unconscionable or there was overreaching.

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Franklin county prenuptial agreement, ohio prenuptial agreement lawyer, ohio prenuptial agreement attorney, ohio prenup lawyer3.  A court may inquire if there was full and fair disclosure of all assets and of the effect of the agreement.  Good practice may include attaching an inventory of assets and the value of each asset to the agreement to provide full disclosure.   This is an area where one party often resists – full disclosure.  They just want a document that says something to the effect of “what is yours is yours and what is mine is mine” and to bypass disclosure.  Full disclosure makes the document less subject to attack in a divorce.

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4.  Ohio law gives a surviving spouse only four months to bring a legal action to contest an ante nuptial agreement after the death of his or her spouse. Ohio Revised Code 2106.22. Affirmative defenses such as fraud or duress must be put in the legal pleading.

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5.  A Court may find certain provisions of the prenup to be unconscionable at the time of divorce. This may be due to unforeseen circumstances such as a large change in the assets of one party.  A court may choose not to uphold provisions of the prenup that it finds unconscionable.

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6.  Parties should be aware that modifications (postnuptial agreements) made after marriage which are more restrictive or harsh than the original agreement may be closely scrutinized by the Court.

Key cases on prenups in Ohio include:

Hook v. Hook

Gross v. Gross

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OHIO CUSTODY LAWYER, OHIO CUSTODY LAWYERS, OHIO CUSTODY ATTORNEY, OHIO CUSTODY ATTORNEYS, OHIO CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER, OHIO CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEYNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case.

FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY CUSTODY ATTORNEY, FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO CUSTODY LAWYERS, FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEYS, FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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