What role does your prenup play in a Michigan divorce?
Even though it can be a difficult conversation to have before getting married, many couples ultimately decide to enter into a prenuptial agreement before they say, “I do.” This is common among couples who already have a good amount of personal assets that they would be bringing into the marriage or for couples who have already been through a costly divorce without a prenuptial agreement in place. With that being said, even though couples may agree to sign a prenuptial agreement, they do not sign the agreement assuming that they will one day get divorced. A prenuptial agreement is thought to be a safety net if something unwarranted does arise. If or when that “unwarranted” event does occur, a prenuptial agreement becomes a big factor in certain divorce proceedings.
The Role of a Prenuptial Agreement
The role a prenuptial agreement plays in a Michigan divorce largely depends on what terms were laid out when the prenuptial agreement was signed. Some couples choose to merely have the division of their financial accounts or business properties set in stone, whereas other couples dive further into exactly how a divorce will go if the situation ever does arise (even going so far as laying out who will pay alimony). It is important to note that prenuptial agreements cannot include determinations on child support or custody due to the fact that the mental, physical, and financial states of the parents and children in question during the divorce need to be taken into account. However, a couple can include children from other relationships in their prenuptial agreement as way to ensure that these children receive assets from their specific parent. As you can see, how large of a role a prenuptial agreement plays depends on how in-depth the agreement was to begin with. This is why it is important to really consider the terms of a prenuptial agreement before signing on the dotted line.
When a Prenuptial Agreement Is Not Enforceable
Under the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act, Michigan divorce courts must enforce a prenuptial agreement if both parties signed the agreement under full disclosure, if the agreement is free from fraud, if the agreement is fair considering the circumstances, and if the party-in-question’s circumstances are comparatively the same as they were when the agreement was signed. However, if a spouse was coerced or forced using psychological or physical threats to sign a prenuptial agreement, a Michigan judge has the right to invalidate the contract. If a marriage was annulled, sans injustices of any kind, Michigan courts have the right to enforce a prenuptial agreement anyway, despite the short duration of the marriage
If you have a prenuptial agreement in place, it is important to go over the terms laid out prior to finalizing a divorce. If you are unsure of whether or not your particular agreement will hold up in court, contact The Gucciardo Law Firm, PLLC, to meet with a family law attorney that will go over your prenuptial agreement with you in detail.
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