Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Few people truly understand the impact of a marriage will have on their life. Getting married and who you marry will have a greater impact on your future than virtually every other decision you make, like your career, or where to go to college, or even whether to have children. Most people do not think of protecting themselves financially and personally when they are planning a wedding, which is a mistake.
Getting married involves implementing major changes into most aspects of your life. If you don’t write your own rules, you are opting into the rules that were written by lawyers, judges, and lobbyists about what will happen in your life. One way or another there is a set of rules that will apply to a divorce in the event your marriage doesn’t work forever.
For this reason, you should at least know your options before you decide whether you need a prenup. You should talk to a local attorney who understands the rules you are opting into and your alternative arrangements you could make that may be better suited for you.
For instance, the law presumes that property which you own prior to marriage is yours alone, but any assets gained during your union belongs to you and your partner equally. However, discerning between the two is not always straightforward, as one spouse may become involved in a business, contribute to retirement savings, or provide mortgage payments. Your pre and post marital property may become a garbled mess. This sets up both spouses for conflict, disagreement, and litigation. As a result, the dissolution of your marriage may place your personal property in jeopardy without the assistance of a Mesa prenup lawyer.
One way to protect your future from the effects of a potential divorce is to enter into a prenuptial agreement. These marital agreements can notify a judge of your wishes as a couple in terms of your individual and shared property and support rights if your marriage ends in divorce. This is one way you can take control of your future, and you can do it with your spouse.
The Role of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement must be signed by both parties prior to getting married. Arizona Revised Statutes §25-201 allows you to draft a prenup in contemplation of marriage, and it would only go into effect once you get married. Additionally, a prenup only has legal influence if a marriage ends in divorce. Many prenups are therefore protective in nature and have no effect for marriages if you don’t need a divorce.
The purpose of a prenup agreement is to proactively decide potential marital issues in case of dissolution. However, Mesa law limits the subject areas that a prenuptial contract may cover. According to AZ Rev Stat §25-203, a prenup may include provisions for:
- Allocating individual and shared assets
- The right to buy, sell, or transfer property
- Spousal support
- Ownership rights to life insurance
- Any other matter involving personal rights or obligations that do not violate public policy
However, a prenuptial agreement may not cover the care and custody of shared children. Specifically, a prenup cannot award custody or make determinations concerning child support. Mesa courts are responsible for upholding the best interests of involved children when ruling on these matters. Fortunately, a Mesa prenuptial agreements attorney could help you draft a document which thoroughly addresses your and your partner’s concerns. This doesn’t mean you can’t discuss these issues and memorialize them in an agreement, it simply means that what you say today about your children or future kids may be subject to change based on what’s going on at the time.
A Prenup’s Legal Authority
A prenup is a contract made by two people in contemplation of marriage. This means that the contract carries the full effect of the law, and either party may submit it to the court upon filing for divorce. If a judge accepts this agreement, a prenup can settle many important questions that arise during a typical divorce. Still, there are limitations on the form and legality of these agreements. Many times, a prenuptial agreement helps facilitate discussion in the event of a divorce, but the couple chooses to change some of the terms.
Under AZ Rev Stat §25-202, a prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties for the courts to assume its validity. However, either party may challenge the legitimacy of an agreement if they can demonstrate that they did not sign it willingly. Additionally, a prenup contract would be voided if one party did not provide fair disclosure of their financial assets, expressly waive an interest in that property, or have a reasonable chance to examine the financial assets of the other party. A prenup should be fair and entered into where everyone has all the information they need to make an informed choice.
Whether a prenup agreement is valid under the law is a matter for a family court judge to decide. A prenup contract lawyer in Mesa could help craft a document that meets your needs or challenge the validity of an existing agreement in case of improper procedure or content.
Get in Touch with a Mesa Prenup Attorney Today
If one party enters marriage with significantly more assets and wishes to protect them against possible division, a prenuptial agreement may be in their best interest.
Prenups can also address key aspects of divorce such as property rights, the ability for one party to claim spousal support, and the rights to life insurance or pension benefits. However, these contracts cannot decide custody or child support.
A Mesa prenuptial lawyer could craft legally binding documents, submit them in court in case of divorce, and challenge previously completed agreements which may not be legally valid. A proper prenup can help protect your future in case of dissolution, so call today to get started.