What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that a couple sign together, before they get married, that explains exactly how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. When they are properly drafted, they are normally enforceable under Michigan law.
A prenuptial agreement is also sometimes called a premarital agreement or a prenup. Properly created, it protects your assets, creates a clear foundation for your financial future, protects you from your spouse’s debt and opens a channel for communication about responsibility. It also allows couples to avoid future conflict in the event that the marriage doesn’t work out.
Michigan law requires that when they are created, prenuptial agreements be fair to both spouses and that there is a full disclosure by both parties of all assets and debts before the agreement is signed. For that reason, our family law attorneys insist that both parties have the document reviewed by an attorney before it is signed.
What Does A Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
A prenuptial agreement can be as specific as you and your fiance would like it to be. Some couples go for a more overall approach, deciding ahead of time which major items will be kept by whom, and generally how they intend to split their financial assets and debts in the event that the marriage ends. Some prenups look at ending the marriage by divorce only. Other prenups cover both divorce and death of a spouse. Speaking generally, the more assets that are brought into a marriage, the more detailed the prenuptial agree will be.
Others, however, choose to itemize every single object, from the house all the way down to the silverware. Either option is perfectly fine, as long as your prenuptial agreement is drafted properly.
How Do I Ensure That My Prenuptial Agreement Is Properly Drafted?
Michigan law is very specific about how a prenup should be created in order for the courts to enforce it. For example, if the prenup is not signed by both parties the courts will likely refuse to honor it. Also, if a prenup divides assets and debts in a way that is patently unfair to one spouse but not the other, the court may not honor the agreement. Even a properly drafted prenuptial agreement can be set aside by the court if its terms have become grossly unfair over a long period of time.
Other information that the law requires that you include in your prenup includes the full names of your and your spouse-to-be, along with birth dates and other identifying information. Also, whether or not either of you was formerly married, and if so, if that marriage ended due to divorce or death.
While there are online prenuptial agreements that you and your spouse can download and fill out for yourselves, it can be a complicated process and it is critical that you get it right. After all, you wouldn’t want the courts to refuse to honor the agreement in the event that your marriage doesn’t last. In the end, you usually get what you pay for. It is said that properly drafted prenuptial agreements are costly but that can be a huge money saver if things go wrong in the marriage.
The best thing a couple can do if they decide to create a prenuptial contract, is to meet with an experienced family law attorney who will guide them through every step of the process. Each spouse should have their own attorney. At Kronzek & Cronkright, our family law attorneys have decades of experience helping couples to prepare for marriage by drafting accurate prenuptial that will stand the test of time.
Our attorneys are also experienced at successfully challenging prenuptial agreements that were drawn up by other attorneys. We have numerous cases where those agreements have been set aside by judges for a variety of reasons. As experienced family law litigation attorneys, we are retained to advocate for different positions by different clients.
Why Do I Need A Prenuptial Agreement?
There are people in Michigan who believe that by signing a premarital agreement, a couple is planning for their divorce, and that those who plan for failure will fail. They couldn’t be more wrong. Choosing to have an experienced attorney draft a prenup before you get married is a smart way to plan for many eventualities and ensure that you and your spouse stand the best chance to be protected in the future.
Something that people often don’t consider is the fact that not only a divorcing couple needs a prenuptial agreement. Death can also result in the division of assets and debts. For example, if one spouse passes away, they may want certain assets to remain with children from a former marriage. In this instance a prenuptial agreement would also protect assets and ensure that a person’s family wishes are honored.
We understand that it may seem strange to want to put a safety net in place right now. After all, you’re in love, and you can’t imagine not being with this person for the rest of your life. But despite how you may feel right now, the facts are undeniable. More than 50% of Michigan marriages nowadays end in divorce, and in the sad eventuality that yours is one of these, wouldn’t you rather be protected?
Kronzek & Cronkright Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
The family law attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright have been working with engaged couples for many years, assisting them in properly drawing up these agreements which are becoming increasingly popular.
Because the laws in this area changes often, it is important for any attorney drafting the agreement to be familiar with all of the most recent changes in the law. Our family law attorneys make a point of always being up to date on any changes in Michigan Law, however minor, so that your prenup will be as watertight as possible. With regards to divorce, we have succeeded in setting aside prenuptial agreements on multiple occasions because of problems with the way they were drafted by other attorneys years before.
If you and your fiance are considering creating a prenuptial agreement as part of your premarital plans, we would like to help you with that. The family law attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright are experienced, hard working and diligent. Let us help you prepare for the future.
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