Some Key Aspects of Michigan Prenuptial Agreements
It’s a common misconception that one or both parties entering into a marriage must be wealthy in order to necessitate a prenuptial agreement, but this is simply untrue. There are a variety of reasons why a couple might benefit from a prenuptial, or antenuptial agreement.
In truth, such agreements are becoming more and more common, perhaps because of divorce rates that are higher today than generations ago. Many couples entering into the contract of marriage are well aware of divorce rates and they want to ensure that should the unthinkable happen and their marriage dissolves, they won’t have to hassle with fighting over division of assets or alimony, for example.
How do you know if a prenuptial agreement is right for you? Here are a few key aspects of the process that could help you to decide.
Why Get a Prenup?
There are several reasons why you might want to sign a prenuptial agreement before you wed. Often, spouses want to be certain that assets like money, real estate, or a business they bring into a marriage won’t be divided as marital property in a divorce. You may also want to secure your retirement accounts.
Prenuptial agreements could cover who will have control of certain assets during the marriage – you may not want your spouse to have access to your personal accounts, for example. You could also take this opportunity to spell out plans for alimony in the event of a divorce, including which spouse will pay, how much, and for how long.
If you’re bringing children into the marriage, you may want to protect their inheritance against being lumped in with marital assets. A prenuptial agreement could include provisions in the event that one spouse dies during the marriage, including a mandate for creating a will or trusts, for example.
In short, you might want a prenuptial agreement to cover a variety of potential problem areas should a divorce occur. This is a way for both parties to enjoy legal protections if the marriage doesn’t work out as planned.
It’s important to understand that child custody and child support CANNOT be decided by a prenuptial agreement – in Michigan, only the courts can make such determinations, depending on the needs and best interests of children at the time.
How to Make Sure Your Prenuptial Agreement is Enforceable
In the state of Michigan, there are a number of parameters you must observe if you want to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is enforceable. First, the agreement must be deemed fair, equitable, and reasonable under the circumstances. It must also be voluntarily entered into by both parties, with full understanding of what they’re agreeing to. Naturally, both parties must sign or it cannot be enforced.
If one party is considered to lack consent or mental capacity, if one party agrees under duress, or if there is fraud involved, the agreement is not enforceable. Finally, the circumstances at the time of divorce cannot have changed so drastically from the time of signing that the prenuptial agreement has become unfair and ultimately, unenforceable.
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement, you may need legal guidance and support. Contact the experienced attorneys at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 or online to learn more and get started.
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