Understanding Premarital Agreements

Increasing numbers of people in our area are executing premarital agreements, also known as prenuptial agreements, as a safeguard against future conflicts regarding financial and property matters. The traditional concept of a prenuptial agreement calls to mind a cynical attitude towards marriage and expectations or predictions that the union will end in divorce. In recent years more couples are recognizing that a premarital agreement is a practical measure with many uses beyond protecting the property of one spouse against the unfair demands of the other during a divorce.

The most widely recognized purposes of premarital agreements are to lay out a plan for property division in case the marriage comes to a premature end and to state the terms for spousal support. This is especially useful when either or both of the marital partners has significant financial assets, real estate or a business. A similar use is to protect inherited property from being considered when dividing assets, even if the items are still part of an expected inheritance.

When one of the spouses has a disproportionate burden of debt, a premarital agreement can be used to shield the other spouse from actions by creditors. Section 25-202 of the Arizona Revised Statutes contains several conditions which, if met, can nullify a premarital agreement, so it is important to enlist the services of a skilled Mesa divorce attorney to draft your agreement and ensure that it is in accordance with the law.

Divorce Lawyer in Arizona

At Dodge & Vega, PLC, we have extensive experience with all aspects of family law, and an attorney from our firm will take the time to fully explore your circumstances and priorities before getting started on your prenuptial agreement. We can also assist you with a postnuptial agreement, if a situation has arisen such as an unexpected inheritance. Postnuptial agreements can be executed as a new contract, while state law allows for modifications to an existing premarital agreement by written consent of both parties. Come to our firm to learn more about how this type of agreement can help you, both during your marriage and in avoiding the struggle of a contested divorce.

Contact a Mesa divorce attorney
who can help you and your future spouse make a premarital agreement that will stand up under law.