Can I Get a Prenup with Just One Lawyer

One of the key reasons why having two lawyers is crucial in creating a prenup is to ensure that each party receives independent legal advice.


When it comes to protecting your assets and planning for the future, getting a prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a smart move. Especially in California, where community property laws can significantly impact the division of assets in the event of a divorce, having a prenup can provide clarity and peace of mind. 

However, a common misconception is that you can simply hire one lawyer to draft a prenup for both you and your partner. In reality, this approach may not only be ineffective, but also potentially risky. As Attorney Melissa Heinig (Western Michigan University Cooley Law School), explains: “It's common for courts to scrutinize your prenuptial agreement, sometimes very closely. If you want your agreement to remain valid, it's wise to hire two, independent attorneys to help you and your spouse draft the ideal document. As with all legal matters, you cannot use the same attorney to represent both of you in negotiating and drafting a prenup.”

Here’s why.

Understanding the Purpose of a Prenup:

Before delving into the necessity of two lawyers, let’s briefly touch on the purpose of a prenup. Essentially, it’s a legal document that outlines how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled in the event of a divorce. By establishing these terms beforehand, couples can avoid lengthy and costly disputes during a divorce proceeding.

The Importance of Independent Representation:

One of the key reasons why having two lawyers is crucial in creating a prenup is to ensure that each party receives independent legal advice. In California, for a prenup to be considered valid and enforceable, both parties must have the opportunity to consult with their own attorney. This helps to safeguard against coercion or unequal bargaining power.

Ensuring Fairness and Equitability:

Having separate legal representation also helps to ensure that the terms of the prenup are fair and equitable to both parties. Each lawyer can advocate for their client’s best interests while also considering the overall fairness of the agreement. This helps to minimize the risk of one party feeling pressured into signing a document that does not adequately protect their rights.

Addressing Complex Legal Issues:

Prenups can involve complex legal issues, especially when it comes to matters such as spousal support, property division, and inheritance rights. By having two lawyers involved, couples can ensure that these issues are thoroughly addressed and that the agreement complies with California law.

Strengthening the Enforceability of the Prenup:

Lastly, having two lawyers involved in the drafting process can help to strengthen the enforceability of the prenup. Judges are more likely to uphold a prenup that was entered into with the advice of independent legal counsel for both parties. This can provide added assurance that the terms of the agreement will be upheld in the event of a divorce.

How First Can Help:

At First, we understand the importance of creating a comprehensive and enforceable prenup. That’s why we provide couples with access to experienced family law attorneys who specialize in drafting prenuptial agreements. Our platform makes it easy for both parties to find their own legal representation and collaborate on creating a prenup that meets their needs.

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to try to streamline the process by using just one lawyer for a prenup, it’s not advisable. By having two lawyers involved, couples can ensure that their prenup is fair, legally sound, and enforceable. At First, we’re here to help couples navigate the complexities of prenuptial agreements and provide them with the support they need to protect their assets and plan for the future.

If you're considering a prenup in California, the First team is here to guide you through the process and help you create a prenup that reflects your unique circumstances and priorities.

At First, we believe in love, but we also believe in being prepared for whatever life throws your way. Our team of qualified and experienced lawyers are here to guide you through the prenup process with clear language and wisdom. Because who said legal stuff had to be confusing?

So go ahead, take the plunge into prenuptial bliss – just don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s (and yes, sign on the dotted line too)!