The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals recently held that a prenuptial agreement was valid, even though it was signed by the parties one day before their wedding and wife failed to read the entire document.
The court found that the wife was not prevented from reading the agreement, and that as a real estate agent she should have been familiar with the import of reading a legal document.
The Court apparently also found it important that the wife knew the husband was a “millionaire” before they married, and thus was aware of the general extent of his assets at the time she signed the agreement. Reportedly the wife attempted to seek legal advice, but when she was advised that her attorney was unavailable she declined to seek other counsel.
There are several lessons here: one is not to sign a prenuptial agreement on the day before your wedding. I can’t tell you how many of the people that come to retain me to help them with their prenuptial agreements that wait until the last minute. That is a terrible idea. The other lesson is to get legal counsel. In this case, the wife likely gave up significant legal rights. And, whether she was a real estate agent or not, she may not have fully appreciated the impact her signature had.