The last thing you want to plan for before you get married is planning for a possible divorce. Discussing a prenuptial agreement with your soon to be spouse may not be the most romantic thing; however, it is important if you want to protect your assets for what might happen in the future.
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two parties made before they get married that specifically identifies what each party owns at the time they get married, how property is going to be treated that they acquire during the marriage, and how that property will be allocated upon dissolution of the marriage. The agreement also identifies existing debts and how debts incurred during the marriage will be treated. Typically prenuptial agreements also include provisions regarding spousal maintenance and how the parties will pay for joint expenses, such has housing, food, etc., during the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is a binding contract and must be taken very seriously BEFORE signing. Each of the parties will be held to that agreement in the unfortunate event of a divorce.
There are steps that must be taken in order for the prenuptial agreement to be a valid, binding and enforceable agreement. The following are some of those steps:
- The agreement must be in writing
- It must be entered into voluntarily
- It must be fair to both parties (or at least not unconscionable)
- The agreement must be the result of full disclosure by both parties, and
- It must be signed by both parties and, if represented, their lawyers
There are other factors that are taken into consideration when someone is trying to say that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable, those include, but are not limited to, how long before the wedding the agreement was signed, whether there was any duress or coercion used to get a party to sign, etc.
If you are contemplating getting married and would like to schedule a complimentary ½ hour consultation to discuss prenuptial agreements with one of our experienced attorney contact Owens & Perkins at (480) 630-2464.