As two people make the decision and commitment to get married, it sometimes makes sense to settle on a legal agreement that dictates what happens should the marriage end before planned. Pre and postnuptial agreements serve just such a purpose.
Some couples decide to settle on an agreement before they are married (Prenuptial) while others arrive at that decision after they are married (Postnuptial).
Why Do I Need a Nuptial?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are most commonly used to define which of the couples property is community and which is separate. This can be especially important in a state like Arizona, where any and all property acquired during marriage is presumed community. Both property and debts acquired during a marriage would be split in half at the time of a divorce, unless an agreement was settled on previously.
What Should a Nuptial Include?
The nuptial agreements might be used to define or identify any of the following:
- Spouse’s earnings and property before marriage
- Spouse’s debts incurred before marriage
- How much, if any, of the earnings and or property obtained during marriage will be split
- Who will remain in control of business/company after divorce
- The elimination or minimization of spousal maintenance after divorce
In Arizona, not all nuptial agreements will be considered legal and some may not stand in a court of law. There are situations where agreements are thrown out because of who they were drafted by and what was included. Failure to disclose all assets or rushing through the review process can also lead a court to find the agreement illegal.
It should be noted that terms to control child support or child custody cannot be included in nuptial agreements.
Drafting a Fair and Legal Nuptial Agreement
To ensure your pre or postnuptial agreements are legal, fair and clear, it’s best to consult an experienced family attorney such as Brad Crider. He’ll be able to use his expertise and experience to draft an agreement that is sure to be enforced and agreed upon. Call Crider Law today to set up your initial consultation and get the ball rolling on a solid pre or postnuptial agreement.