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Protect yourself from asset fraud in prenuptial agreement negotiations

In recent posts, we’ve been discussing the issue of hiding assets from a spouse in divorce. As we’ pointed out, forensic accounting can be a critical tool in tracking down hidden assets and holding a dishonest spouse accountable and ensuring a fair division of assets.

One of the points we mentioned last time is that is that fraud can also be an issue in prenuptial agreements as well. Couples who are in the process of negotiating a prenuptial agreement need to be as sure as possible their future spouse is being completely honest with them with respect to assets and debts.

Full disclosure of financial information is critical for establishing a valid and enforceable prenuptial agreement in court. Both spouses must be honest and clear about what assets they own, their debts, their salary, income, and possessions. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure the other party does not try to take advantage of the other by attempting to hide assets or distracting the other from getting needed information.

An issue which is separate but related to full disclosure is fairness. Even when both parties do fully disclose assets, debts, and income to one another, a prenuptial is less likely to be upheld in court if it favors one party over another.

In general, prenuptial agreements can be touchy due to the issues that arise in connection with them. Couples negotiating such agreements should both work with experienced legal counsel to ensure their rights are protected and their interests advocated. 

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