Prenuptial & Post Nuptial Agreements

Attorneys Helping to Ensure the Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

Having an agreement in place in the event of a marriage’s failure may seem like a poor position from which to start a marriage. However, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can provide certainty in the otherwise unpredictable event of a divorce. Whether you are considering obtaining a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement, or if you have been asked to sign such an agreement, having legal counsel is crucial.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed before a marriage. Michigan law defines property obtained, earned, or accumulated during marriage to be part of the marital estate. The marital estate is subject to equitable division in a divorce. Courts have broad discretion to consider any assets accumulated or income earned prior to the marriage to be “marital property” if it is comingled with marital property or used for the benefit of both spouses during the marriage.

A prenuptial agreement allows the parties to agree to a specific division of the marital estate prior to the marriage. However, the agreement will only be deemed valid if it complies with a number of requirements, including the following:

  • It must be reasonably fair and equitable;
  • Agreement must be voluntary;
  • Both parties must fully disclose their assets and income;
  • The agreement must be free of fraud and cannot break state or federal laws
  • Both parties must be mentally competent and neither can use coercion to force the other to sign the agreement; and
  • The agreement must be signed by both spouses.

Additionally, if it comes time to enforce the agreement, the facts and circumstances of the marriage and/or both individuals cannot have changed so much as to make enforcement unreasonable or significantly unfair to one spouse. Michigan courts have discretion when enforcing prenuptial agreements, especially when the parties’ financial conditions have changed. A qualified lawyer can help ensure an agreement is enforceable when appropriate.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except signed after the marriage. Historically, postnuptial agreements have not always been upheld, as at common law, agreements in anticipation of divorce were not enforceable as being against public policy favoring marriage. However, recent court decisions have begun to unwind that prohibition.

If you are contemplating marriage and wish to explore prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, or if you have been asked by your partner to enter into such an agreement, having experienced legal counsel is important. The attorneys at Neumann Law Group are here to help.

  • Legal Expertise: Our team is knowledgeable about family law and the legal requirements for prenuptial agreements in Michigan. We will can ensure that the agreement complies with state laws.
  • Customization: We will work with you to draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that are tailored to your specific needs and concerns. We will help you create a document that addresses your unique financial situation, assets, and any other important issues you want to include.
  • Disclosure Requirements: Our attorneys will guide you through the process of providing a complete and accurate financial disclosure. Both parties must fully disclose their assets and liabilities for the prenuptial agreement to be valid.
  • Negotiation: Our lawyers will facilitate negotiations between you and your future spouse to arrive at mutually agreeable terms. We will help you discuss and resolve any contentious issues, such as the division of assets, alimony, or other financial matters.
  • Document Drafting and Execution: Once the terms are agreed upon, we will draft the prenuptial agreement document in compliance with state law, and have it properly filed to be enforceable.

If you or a loved one has questions about obtaining or negotiating a prenuptial agreement, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Putting in the time and effort to ensure a proper and enforceable agreement before getting married can prevent significant legal expenses from being incurred in a divorce. The Michigan family and divorce lawyers in Traverse City at Neumann Law Group are ready to discuss your. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Michigan family attorneys at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

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