{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Has anyone here drafted their own prenup?\n\nContext: I am first year attorney and my partner is about to start law school part time. Other than debt and our 401ks, neither of us is bringing much to the table in terms of assets. We want a prenup to opt out of equitable distribution laws and how martial property is defined. We aren’t sure it is worth the expense of both hiring lawyers to draft what is likely to be a simple document. But we also want a prenup that will hold up in court.", "post_id": "5edff197ead606001cd7b68e", "reply_count": 17, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

Has anyone here drafted their own prenup? Context: I am first year attorney and my partner is about to start law school part time. Other than debt and our 401ks, neither of us is bringing much to the table in terms of assets. We want a prenup to opt out of equitable distribution laws and how martial property is defined. We aren’t sure it is worth the expense of both hiring lawyers to draft what is likely to be a simple document. But we also want a prenup that will hold up in court.

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I believe you should both hire separate counsel. A ton of case law out there on the validity of a prenup when not represented by counsel. Not to mention you are an attorney and he/she is not yet - another red flag. My partner and I are practically married, but for loan repayment purposes, we may never officially tie the knot. But we do have a cohabitation agreement in place (basically a prenup without the pesky marriage bit). I hired counsel and forced him to do the same even though we wanted the same thing. I wanted to make sure it was locked down that he was aware we were opting, essentially, community property and what that means. Obviously I had told him before hand, but he 100% needed to know and be told by his attorney (not to mention my partner is not an attorney). Lastly, I did draw up the basics of what we wanted but I relied on our counsel to edit, add, remove, and finalize as needed.

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I appreciate you having my back! The cats are mine and no, not only would I not be supporting him were we to break up mid way through his schooling but I’d expect to be paid back at least his portion of rent. The point of the post is not to ask whether we should get a prenup. Just the best way to go about doing it that won’t break the bank.

I hate to be this person but unfortunately marriage contracts are not always as simple as they seem. I’m not in NY so can’t speak to the jurisdiction but prenups can be set aside if both parties do not provide full financial disclosure and include a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice within the prenup. Also, there may be provisions covered in the statutes or case law re: opting out. What about other considerations beyond the matrimonial home? Spousal support, any contributions/inheritances from your respective family that could be used toward purchasing martial property, will you be liable for each other’s debts, the list goes on. I would highly recommend retaining a family law attorney for drafting or even at the very least for Independent Legal Advice.

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Couldn’t add it to my OP, I did a lot of work on a martial property portion of a family law casebook in law school and have done a bunch of NY specific research to get a checklist of what we would want to cover in a document (including everything you listed above). Point taken though that another set of eyes on it is always a good idea!

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You know the adage about the lawyer representing himself having a fool for a client? Yeah...that. You know you should hire separate counsel. If you want to do this right, do it right. If you want to try playing prenup lawyer and see if it all works out fine years later--that stikes me as risky and foolish. The point of a prenup is to derisk things!!! So...yeah. Hire separate counsel. You can still draft most of it and have 2 sets of counsel review for less. Don't be risky and foolish. Do this right.

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OP, I’ve had clients come to the consult with the marriage contract in hand, asking me to give ILA on it as the second set of eyes. By having a look at it and judging how much work it will be (ie. is it well prepared vs needs a lot of changes to align with the law), I’m better positioned to give a ballpark figure on cost. That might work for you!

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I’d worry that if I drafted a prenup or post nup as the licensed attorney in the relationship that it would be construed against me if the marriage falls apart in the future. Goodness forbid that happens of course!

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Yeah that is a very valid concern and one we share! Seems like the best compromise to keep costs down is draft it but get separate counsel to review/edit.

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Agree with Associate 2, there’s also cases where a prenup is invalid if one person is an attorney and the other isn’t

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As someone who got married and divorced while in law school I believe pre nups are worth 10X their weight in gold. Spend the money. Get a good one.

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My husband and I put together the exact formulation that we wanted (we are both lawyers and didn’t want community property laws to apply) and hired our own attorneys to draft and review the document. It cost us a couple thousand dollars but we were both really happy with the outcome and can rest assured that it will be enforceable (even if we hope to never use it)! We recommend all of our friends at least discuss having a prenup - it forces a couple to have serious discussions about debt, assets, income and financial expectations for the relationship.

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Yeah it has never been a debate about *whether* to get a prenup, just how to go about it in an informed and economic way.

Each get your own attorney. Don't do it on your own. Just this week, saw one prenup upheld and one thrown out. I promise, you get what you pay for. The law on them changes often and is developing constantly, so see a specialist who knows how the wind is blowing.

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A wise lawyer does not do her own personal legal work. No matter how much you think you know, you EACH need your own lawyers. You are not objective about this even if you think you are, and experience is invaluable if you want a binding contract. Find a SMALL family law firm (one each) and discuss price. It's a great way to network and get good advice. And it will be worth the money.

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