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.
Importance of Having Prenuptial Agreement
These prenuptial 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 Salt Lake City prenuptial agreements 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 Salt Lake City prenuptial agreements 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.
Why Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer at Smoak Law, P.C. in Salt Lake City?
Smoak Law, P.C. is an experienced Salt Lake City marriage agreement law firm. Our Salt Lake City prenuptial agreements lawyer 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 Salt Lake City prenup 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 a Salt Lake City prenuptial agreements lawyer 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 prenup agreement and prior to the wedding.
Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City 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.
At Smoak Law, P.C., our family law lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah focuses on the following practice areas:
Let An Experienced Salt Lake City, Northern Utah Prenuptial Agreements Lawyer Solve Your Problem
Salt Lake City prenuptial agreements 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 Salt Lake City 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 the Salt Lake City family law attorney Emily Smoak and the rest of the team at Smoak Law, P.C.
Frequently Asked Questions for Prenuptial Agreement in Salt Lake City
What can’t be put into a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement cannot limit child support obligations, determine child custody agreements, or penalize a spouse for filing for divorce.
What can be put into a prenuptial agreement?
You can lay out how the property will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation. You may also determine aspects of alimony including the length, amount, and if it is waived. A prenuptial agreement can also help protect your inheritance, you can spell out how your inheritance will be treated in either a divorce or death. Debts and business ownership may also be added into a prenuptial agreement.
What happens if I forgot to put an asset in my prenuptial agreement?
If you forgot to include an asset in your prenuptial agreement in Utah, the asset may not be protected under the terms of the agreement in the event of a divorce or separation. However, the impact of this oversight will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, such as when the asset was acquired and how it was treated during the marriage. If you realize that you forgot to include an asset in your prenuptial agreement, it may be possible to amend the agreement to include the asset, but this will depend on whether both parties agree to the amendment and whether it is executed in accordance with Utah law.
Can a prenuptial agreement be changed after the marriage?
Yes, a prenuptial agreement can be changed after the marriage. In fact, it is not uncommon for couples to revisit and update their prenuptial agreements over time, especially if there are significant changes in their financial circumstances or other factors that affect the agreement’s relevance or enforceability. In Utah, any changes to a prenuptial agreement must be made in writing and signed by both parties. The amended agreement must also comply with Utah’s requirements for prenuptial agreements, including the requirement that the agreement be entered into voluntarily, with full disclosure of assets and debts, and without coercion or duress.
Does a postnuptial agreement hold the same weight as a prenuptial agreement?
In Utah, a postnuptial agreement can hold the same weight as a prenuptial agreement, as long as it is entered into voluntarily, with full disclosure of assets and debts, and without coercion or duress. The main difference between the two is the timing of when they are executed: a prenuptial agreement is signed before the marriage, while a postnuptial agreement is signed after the marriage. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can cover many of the same issues related to the financial aspects of marriage, such as the division of property, alimony or spousal support, and debt allocation. However, a postnuptial agreement may require additional considerations, such as whether there have been any significant changes in the financial circumstances of the parties since the marriage.
Can a prenuptial agreement be challenged in court?
Yes, a prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court. However, challenging a prenuptial agreement can be difficult, and the party seeking to challenge the agreement typically has the burden of proving that it is unenforceable.
What factors will a court consider when deciding whether or not a prenuptial agreement is valid?
Under Utah law, a prenuptial agreement may be invalidated if it was not entered into voluntarily, if one party did not fully disclose assets and debts, or if the agreement is unconscionable or unfair. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement may be challenged if it was signed under duress or coercion, or if one party lacked the capacity to understand the terms of the agreement at the time it was signed.
How do you challenge a prenuptial agreement?
To challenge a prenuptial agreement, the challenging party typically must file a lawsuit and present evidence to support their claim. This may involve testimony from witnesses, financial records, and other evidence related to the circumstances surrounding the creation of the agreement. If a court determines that a prenuptial agreement is unenforceable, it may set it aside or modify its terms. However, it’s important to note that challenging a prenuptial agreement can be a complex and time-consuming process, and the outcome of the challenge is not guaranteed.
Is there a timeline for when you get a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement can be executed at any time during a marriage, as long as both parties agree to the terms and the agreement meets the legal requirements for enforceability. Some couples choose to create a postnuptial agreement in response to a significant change in their financial circumstances, such as the acquisition of a substantial asset or a change in income. Others may create a postnuptial agreement as a way to address concerns that have arisen during the marriage, such as issues related to spending, debt, or inheritance.
Do you need to hire a Salt Lake City prenuptial agreement lawyer to draft up the agreement?
While you are not legally required to hire a Salt Lake City prenuptial agreement lawyer to draft up a prenuptial agreement, it is highly recommended that you do so. Prenuptial agreements are complex legal documents, and drafting an effective and enforceable agreement requires a thorough understanding of Utah’s laws and procedures.