Prenuptial Agreement in Arizona
We hear about them all the time on tv and in the news – prenuptial agreements. Typically, they are signed by people who come into a marriage with a lot of assets. They want to protect themselves in case they end up getting divorced. A prenuptial agreement trumps normal divorce laws when it comes to property division. A prenuptial agreement is also referred to as a premarital agreement.
A prenuptial agreement outlines how the couple will divide property in the event of a divorce. It deals with financial issues only. A prenuptial agreement cannot determine things like child custody. That is something that typically has to be approved by the court. This is because it does have to be made with the best interests of the children in mind, not the parents.
What You Have to Know if You’ve Been Asked to Sign a Prenuptial Agreement
In a perfect world, both parties entering a marriage would agree to sign a prenup. They would both agree to keep what they take into the marriage in the event of divorce. However, we do not live in a perfect world.
In some situations, both parties to a prenup have assets. They both want to protect what they have worked hard to earn in their lifetimes. However, in many instances, one party to the marriage has nothing and the other has a ton. The wealthier party wants to protect themselves in the event of divorce. There is nothing legally wrong with this. However, there is a possibility of undue influence.
If you are getting married to a wealthy partner, you may be asked to sign a prenup. You don’t have to take this as an insult. However, there is nothing wrong with having an attorney review it before you sign. In fact, you would be foolish to sign it without having an attorney review it.
How Does a Lawyer Help?
Having a lawyer review your prenuptial agreement is always a good idea. Chances are, your partner had it drawn up by an attorney. There is a good chance there are clauses and language in that agreement that skews things in favor of your future spouse. Any good lawyer would make sure of this.
Your lawyer can look to make sure of a few things:
- Any assets you have are protected in the event of divorce
- You aren’t being denied assets that you would be legally entitled to
- There are no unconscionable terms in the agreement (I.e. If you get sick or terminally ill, they can leave without providing health insurance, etc.)
- The agreement is balanced – your lawyer can make sure there are no unfair terms (such as it’s okay if one party cheats but if you cheat, you lose your right to any property in the divorce)
- It is true – make sure all assets and debts are listed
If your partner gets upset that you want an attorney to review the agreement, you may want to reconsider your decision to get married. If this agreement is supposed to protect both parties, both parties should have the right to review it.
Click here for more information on the specifics of prenuptial agreements in Arizona.