A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract entered into by a couple prior to getting married. The agreement addresses financial issues that may occur during the marriage, as well as what will happen financially if the marriage ends. These can be sensitive legal matters that may benefit from the assistance of an attorney – call Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.

Guidelines for Filing a Prenuptial Agreement

In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid in the state of Washington, there are a few guidelines you need to follow.

  • Talk with your to-be spouse about filing a prenuptial agreement, and make sure that you both are entering the agreement willfully.
  • Meet with an attorney.
  • Determine what assets to include in your prenup.
  • Sign your agreement at least a month before getting married to demonstrate thorough consideration of the prenuptial agreement to the courts.
  • Make sure the signing of the prenuptial agreement occurs before a notary.
  • Store the document in a safe place.

The law does not require that you have an attorney to draft and enter the agreement. Additionally, you do not have to file the document with a court or get it approved by a judge at the time you enter into it. A judge will consider the prenuptial agreement in the event you dissolve your marriage.

While an attorney is not required, it is recommended. Because the prenup should protect both parties’ interests, an attorney is often essential for ensure that the agreement is fair. In the event that a marriage is terminated, the judge who oversees the divorce does not have to uphold the agreement. Oftentimes, the judge will consider whether or not lawyers were used and whether or not the agreement was entered into lawfully. If the judge believes the agreement to be unfair, he or she may not adhere to it.

Bringing a Prenup to the Court

As stated above, filing your prenuptial agreement with the courts at the time of its construction is not necessary. However, if you are seeking a divorce, then you will need to file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the courts and later present your prenup. Family law actions are filed in room E609 of the Seattle Courthouse and room 2C at the Maleng Regional Justice Center. Here are the addresses.

Seattle Court House
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Maleng Regional Justice Center
401 Fourth Avenue North
Kent, WA 98032
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After filing for divorce, your attorney can help you present your prenuptial agreement during mediation or court proceedings. When presenting your prenuptial agreement and your case in general to a court, it is important that you dress and behave professionally. Additionally, make sure you come prepared with identification, any necessary paperwork, and that you are prepared to testify if necessary.

Read: 4 Little-Known Facts about Prenuptial Agreements in Washington

Set Up a Consultation with Family Law Attorney Molly B. Kenny in Bellevue

Entering a prenuptial agreement is a decision that many couples decide to make together before tying the knot. While the agreement isn’t for everyone, it can be incredibly beneficial in protecting both parties’ interests in the event of divorce or death. You don’t have to have an attorney, but you should get one to represent your best interests. Your lawyer can help ensure that the document is valid and legally enforceable.

At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, we represent your rights to make sure the prenup is fair and to avoid any problems regarding enforceability should you one day wish to dissolve the marriage. If you’re ready to begin the process today, you can reach us at 425-460-0550 or you may fill out the form on our contact page to set up a consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington