Is It Too Late to Get a Prenuptial Agreement After Marriage?
Prenuptial agreements can be a wise choice for individuals about to tie the knot. When properly crafted, a court will follow the terms of the prenuptial agreement if the couple divorces. Prenuptial agreements can be an especially good idea when one spouse enters the marriage with plans to start a business or with a much higher earning potential than their partner.
The very name of these contracts dictates that you and your partner must enter into them before you marry one another. Once you have married your partner, it is too late to enter into a prenuptial agreement. However, you and your spouse are free to draw up a postnuptial agreement.
Postnuptial Agreements Explained
A prenuptial agreement is entered before you marry your partner, while a postnuptial agreement is entered after you have married your partner. Though the names of these two agreements are slightly different, their purposes are very similar. These agreements tell a court how you and your partner have agreed to resolve certain issues in the event of a divorce.
Most every postnuptial agreement will cover issues regarding asset division, spousal support, and legal fees. In this way, you and your spouse can have the certainty of knowing how each of you will be financially exiting the marriage should the two of you get divorced.
Enforceability of a Postnuptial Agreement
Michigan courts will generally enforce a postnuptial agreement so long as certain conditions are met. While individuals can comply with them on their own, having legal counsel draft the postnuptial agreement will help prevent future problems when attempting to enforce the agreement.
First, the terms of the postnuptial agreement must be fair under the circumstances. One spouse cannot walk away with all of the marital assets while the other spouse gets nothing. While the division of assets in a postnuptial agreement need not be equal, it should not leave one spouse impoverished.
Next, there must be an exchange of promises or consideration. Each spouse must either receive something of value or give up something of value under the terms of the agreement. Agreeing to pay alimony in return for receiving a larger share of the assets is an example of proper consideration.
Last, the postnuptial agreement’s terms should not be such that they encourage the parties to divorce. At the time you enter into the postnuptial agreement, you and your partner should have a legitimate expectation and desire for the marriage to continue.
Legal Help for All Your Family Law Needs
If you have questions about prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or if you are ready to have an experienced Michigan family lawyer draft your agreement, Gucciardo Family Law is here to help. Our small-firm mindset means we will take the time to understand your situation so we can offer you the most personalized and effective solution to meet your needs.
Call or contact our office today and schedule a consultation with us to discuss your circumstances.
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