Marital agreements have become popular among all people who have high-value assets, share children or with business interests to protect. Among their advantages, these agreements allow both parties to be on a more equal financial footing during their relationship and upon divorce.
Marital agreements come under several different names including: prenup, prenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, and antenuptial agreement, but they all essentially mean the same thing. These are all agreements that are entered into prior to the marriage, and are a binding contract that the couple signs, defining which spouse gets what, in the event of a divorce.
These agreements can work for most couples, however they are particularly important for people that have extensive assets, in order to protect those assets in the event the marriage ends in divorce. It is also very important to have any prenuptial agreement drafted by an experienced prenup attorney that knows how to protect your assets in the agreement.
It is crucial to have your prenup completed and executed in a reasonable amount of time before the wedding. This gives both parties time to carefully consider the terms, to have the document reviewed by separate attorneys, to negotiate the terms, and to negate a later claim that the agreement was signed under duress. At least a month or two before the wedding is a good idea, especially when there are a lot of assets, as it shows that both parties understood the terms of the agreement well ahead of time.
Smoak Law, P.C. is an experienced marriage agreement law firm. We assist our clients in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that can resolve potentially divisive issues in advance of disagreement or dispute.
The Two Most Important Things To Do Before Signing a Marital Agreement
- Make sure you hire an experienced marital agreement attorney
We’ve mentioned this already, but it bears repeating, as it is probably the most important thing you can do. Both spouses need to be protected and having an attorney do this for you in the beginning, will make any future court battles much easier.
- Make sure you have a full and complete list of all assets
This may seem like an obvious point, but it is a point that cannot be stressed enough. Both parties must have an accurate accounting of all assets and liabilities attached to the agreement. This list of assets must be compiled well in advance of the agreement being signed. This again shows both parties were aware of all the assets and liabilities prior to execution of the agreement and prior to the wedding.
Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreements Attorney Serving the State of Utah
Prenuptial agreements set terms for how assets and liabilities will be distributed during the marriage or after its dissolution. Postnuptial agreements work similarly, but are created after the marriage begins.
Both types of agreements enable participants to:
- Define which properties will be divided after a divorce, separation, incapacity or death
- Prevent specific assets, such as a family business or heirloom, from being included in a division of assets
- Protect assets for children from previous marriages/relationships
- Define who will pay certain taxes, credit card bills and other obligations
- Require that any future disputes be decided through mediation or arbitration, instead of in court
If you are an individual with significant assets and liabilities, or the owner of a business, the prenuptial agreement you sign before you get married could very well turn out to be your best friend and a lifesaver. This is not where to cut costs and go with a cheap, cookie-cutter prenup! It is vital that you have an experienced prenuptial agreement attorney draft your agreement. The more money you and your assets are worth, the more you will spend fighting for them or defending them in court later, if you don’t have a solid prenup.
Although marital agreements can set financial boundaries in a relationship, and obligate spouses to certain duties, they cannot limit a person’s basic rights. A marital agreement may not exempt an ex-spouse from making child support payments, nor set limits on the amount of support. Likewise, such an agreement may not prohibit a parent from having access to his or her child.
Let An Experienced Northern Utah Marital Agreement Lawyer Solve Your Problem
Attorney Emily Smoak knows how marital agreements work, and she can help you negotiate one that meets your needs and respects your rights, while eliminating a source of potential litigation down the road.
To consult with an experienced prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer, who will listen to your concerns and work closely with you to reach the best long-term solutions to your prenuptial and postnuptial agreement concerns, contact attorney Emily Smoak and the rest of the team at Smoak Law, P.C.