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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

A lawyer you can trust to protect your interests

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. If you're considering either type of agreement, the attorneys at Brown, Naegle, Crider & Jensen LLC can help.

A prenuptial agreement, probably the more common of the two, is agreed upon prior to the marriage and goes into effect once the parties are legally married. A postnuptial agreement is agreed upon when the couple is already married and goes into effect immediately. Either type of agreement may suit your needs, depending on your current marital status and surrounding circumstances.

Why do I need an agreement?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are most commonly used to define which of the couple's property is community and which is separate. In Arizona, any and all property acquired during the marriage is considered community property, so clarifying this is important to many couples. The default is for 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.

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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 pre- and postnuptial 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 pre or postnuptial agreements.

Drafting a fair and legal 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. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation and get the ball rolling on a solid pre- or postnuptial agreement.

Mesa
3850 E. Baseline Road, Suite 111
Mesa, AZ 85206-4403