Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are to be married. This contract is a plan for how a divorce will take place, should one be needed. Your prenuptial agreement can contain almost anything you want in with a few exceptions.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a contract between an already married couple to plan for a divorce should one take place.
Who needs a Prenuptial or a Postnuptial Agreement?
- No one is required to have a Prenuptial Agreement, but there are some situations that make a couple feel as though a prenuptiual or a postnuptiual is needed. For example:
- If one or both parties have significant pre-marital assets they wish to protect.
- If one or both parties have a business they would like to keep seperate from their marriage.
- If one or both parties have children with other parties and they want those children to have full rights or greater rights to an inheritance.
- If one or both parties have a large salary and do not want to pay alimony in the event of a divorce.
However, one does not need significant assets in order to have a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements do not only control money and assets. For example, some couples agree to attend and actively participate in six months of counseling prior to filing a divorce. A prenuptial can also outline the party’s roles and responsibilities while they are married, how their children will be raised, any other term the parties feel are necessary, as long as it is legal.
What cannot be added to a Prenuptial or a Postnuptial agreement?
Anything against public policy or is illegal, child support amounts, child custody, or any agreement that would leave one party as a ward of the state. Further, if the terms are unconscionable, they will likely not be valid.
What might invalidate a Prenuptial or a Postnuptial agreement?
- A party signed under durres.
- A party did not have access to independent legal reresentation and did not include a waiver of rights to an attorney.
- An agreement atht does not explain, in plain language, the marital rights or obligations being mofified or waived by the agreement.
- A party did not recieve adequate financial disclosures from the other party.
- An unconscionable agreement.
There are many ins and outs of making a valid and enforcable Prenuptial Agreement and/or Postnuptial Agreement. It is important to have an attorney help you in this family law matter!
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