How Prenuptial Agreements Affect Asset Division in a Divorce
Prenuptial agreements are created before a couple marries, but these contracts can have a significant effect on your future if you and your spouse divorce. Among the many terms within a prenup, you’ll find details regarding asset division. These terms can dictate how property and assets are distributed and who gets what.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, also called a prenup, is essentially a contract both future spouses sign before getting married. This premarital agreement includes plenty of information parties can refer back to in the event of a divorce. Topics covered within a prenup include:
- Each spouse’s assets and debts
- Financial responsibilities
- Property and asset division
- Spousal support
- Provisions for children from previous relationships
Prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage and only become valid if the couple legally marries. To ensure a prenup is valid and enforceable, you must follow Michigan requirements, including signatures from both spouses.
Additionally, for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it should not favor one party over the other and should be fair to both spouses.
Usually, when getting a prenup, one party’s attorney drafts the agreement, and the other party can review and make changes. Negotiations are often necessary. Counsel should represent both spouses to ensure the agreement is fair and equitable.
How Property and Asset Division Works in Michigan
Property division in a divorce typically depends on your state’s laws. Michigan operates under the theory of equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution allows for the division of marital property in a way that is equitable, or fair, to both parties. Separate property, or property that solely belongs to each individual spouse, is not usually included.
Instead, it must be made clear which property is considered marital property — property and assets acquired during the marriage. Marital property can include real estate, vehicles, and items within the home.
How Does a Prenup Affect Property and Asset Distribution in a Michigan Divorce?
While Michigan operates under equitable distribution, if a valid prenuptial agreement is in place, the agreement’s details dictate property and asset division.
One of the most important matters covered in a prenup is asset division. This is because, in a large majority of divorces, property and asset distribution is one of the most contentious topics.
When an agreement regarding asset division is set in stone in a prenup agreement, it helps minimize or even eliminate a battle in the event of a divorce.
Property division agreements vary, depending on the couple and the details of their prenup. For example, the spouses may have agreed that each spouse walks away from the marriage with what they came in with, or perhaps the husband agrees to let the wife have the marital home in the divorce. Terms are flexible based on wants and needs.
Consult with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you and your spouse are getting divorced and have a valid prenuptial agreement in place, it is important to review the details of your contract to better understand how property division will go.
The dedicated divorce attorneys at Gucciardo Law Firm of Michigan are ready to assist you with your divorce and guide you toward the best possible outcome. We have advocated for clients in family law matters since 2001. Contact us today to request a free consultation.
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