Divorces are notoriously messy, emotional battles that can leave estranged spouses embittered. This is especially true for cases involving children where divorce litigation can have a permanent impact on familial relationships and a couple is forced to continue to interact well beyond their divorce. Sometimes, a breakdown in the relationship necessitates a change, but that change may not need to be a divorce.
One way to mitigate a potential divorce is to draft and implement a marital agreement with your partner. These agreements define the terms of a potential divorce and keep your future out of the hands of a judge. It is possible to create these agreements before or during a marriage as well as during a pending divorce. The agreements create new financial relationships and create new boundaries within an existing broken relationship.
You will need an experienced family law attorney to help form, draft, and submit these documents to a local court. Working together, you and your Mesa marital agreements lawyer can work to protect your assets and secure your future in case of divorce.
What are Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
Marital agreements are most commonly formed while a couple is separated or contemplating separation but do not wish to give up on their marriage. For example, prenuptial agreements are entered into before a couple gets married. Many people choose to enter into prenuptial agreements to protect their assets in case their marriage ends in divorce. Postnuptial agreements function similarly, but the agreement is entered after a couple has already gotten married.
More and more couples are choosing to define their own futures and opt out of the divorce or family court “system” that wasn’t created for them. These marital contracts can outline the distribution of assets, the assignment of debt, and whether either spouse can collect alimony payments. These contracts only have a legal effect if a marriage ends in dissolution. According to Arizona Revised Statutes §25-202, a court can integrate postnuptial agreements into a final divorce decree.
However, a prenup or postnup agreement cannot determine the care and support of shared children. A dedicated attorney who has studied and drafted marital contracts could offer more insight about the varying types of legally binding agreements and their effects on a marriage. If you are in the East Valley of Phoenix, consider meeting with one of our Mesa marital contracts attorneys.
What are the Benefits of Marital Agreements in Mesa?
Separate and community property are as intricate as a spider’s web. Marital agreements may include clauses that allow separate property or debts to be treated as community assets. Once the spouses decide to end their marriage, they’re free to negotiate their settlement. This means they can divide their property and pay off their debts however they want.
You’re not bound by the legal characterizations of separate or community property if the two of you come up with an agreement. You can always agree to work outside of these rules. As long as you’re entering into a contract with your spouse which is fair and reasonable, there is adequate consideration for both spouses, there’s not duress or extortion, and there’s nothing about its terms that are patently and grossly unfair, you’re free to divide your marital property as you see fit.
Marital Agreements During a Divorce
Parties to a divorce who share goals can enter into marital agreements even after litigation begins. Divorcing couples without a prenup or postnup agreement can still come to terms about how they want their marriage to end. A separation agreement can serve many of the same functions as other marital contracts.
Most divorces end before trial because both parties eventually reach a compromise about their property rights and alimony orders. A marital contracts lawyer in Mesa could help people to form separation agreements that serve to avoid complex and lengthy divorce trials.
We can’t underestimate the importance of figuring out how to negotiate and coming to an agreement with your partner. Marital agreements almost always offer a better resolution for everyone including kids, both signing parties, and lawyers. We are in the business of crafting solutions, and sometimes lawyers can forget that. First and foremost, our job is to help solve problems.
If we can’t get it done by solving problems outside the courtroom, then we have to take our trial advocacy skills to court. While that’s a very valuable skill, we at Modern Law are in the business of solving problems and are always thinking about the long-term best impacts when it comes to your future. The best way to safeguard your future on your terms is to enter a marital agreement and plan ahead with your partner or spouse.
Married couples share property rights and the ability to petition a court to issue an order for spousal support. Even so, a divorce proceeding can be unpredictable, and a judge’s decisions may leave both parties disappointed or bitter. The best way to retain control in case of divorce may be to enter into a marital agreement. You can accomplish this before marriage with a prenup, afterwards with a postnup, or even after one spouse has already filed for divorce.
These agreements serve as legally binding contracts, and the courts typically integrate them into a final divorce order. A Mesa marital agreements lawyer could work to understand your goals, form the necessary paperwork, and argue for the legitimacy of your contract if your marriage ends in divorce. Call today to get started.