Prenuptial agreements are not just for the ultra-wealthy. In fact, a prenuptial agreement can be an important tool for any couple planning to get married. If you’re thinking about getting married in Arizona, here are five things you need to know about prenuptial agreements.
What Are Prenuptial Agreements?
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract that sets the ground rules for how assets will be divided should you get divorced or legally separated. Married people have certain legal rights when it comes to assets, including insurance policies, bank accounts, property, and other investments. A premarital agreement helps you decide who gets what if your marriage ends in death or divorce.
If you are contemplating entering into a matrimonial relationship but are concerned about the possible financial fall-out of such a union, taking some time to consider whether you want to enter into a “premarital” agreement may be worthwhile. A premarital agreement has benefits such as the clarification of financial rights and obligations. It could save you a lot of money and heartache should your marriage hit the rocks.
Prenuptial agreements are critical if you own real estate, businesses, stocks, bonds, or large amounts of personal property (jewelry, fine art). Agreements like this protect your assets and help keep things simple in case your marriage ends in divorce.
It is not always easy to discuss the possibility of a breakup with your partner, but keeping all lines of communication open can save you years of unnecessary emotional pain if your marriage does not work out.
Let’s look at 5 quick tips about prenuptial agreements in Arizona:
Tip #1: Prepare All Necessary Documentation
It’s important that all necessary documents are prepared ahead of time because they contain vital information pertaining to your rights as well as those of your partner, with regards to child custody and visitation, division of assets during a divorce, and spousal support entitlement. This is why everything must be clear from the very beginning.
If you find yourself needing a prenuptial agreement, the best thing to do is to seek legal representation from a family attorney. In Arizona, there are certain laws that must be followed when establishing a prenuptial agreement, all of which can be found in Title 25 Chapter 2 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. These statutes were established to protect both parties involved and make sure everything is fair and equal.
It’s important to know exactly what each statute entails because they regulate how much documentation is needed for the prenuptial agreement as well as how it should be set out and worded. An experienced family attorney will help you understand all applicable statutes as well as provide assistance with your specific needs as defined by your prenuptial agreement.
Tip #2: Prenuptial Agreements Should Be Beneficial To Both Spouses
When one spouse is benefiting from the prenuptial contract, the other may think twice about pursuing it. Prenuptial agreements must be fair and not take advantage of either person involved. The parties to a prenuptial agreement must voluntarily enter into the agreement without coercion or undue influence.
Each party should present their own individual attorney who will review your prenup for free before signing anything. The agreement should be tailored to your specific needs. It might not include all the provisions suggested by an experienced divorce professional you hired to draft your document, but that’s okay too! Only include what is important to you.
It’s important that both parties understand exactly what the terms of this contract will be before signing it because once you sign, you’re bound by these terms no matter what happens after your wedding day. If one party wants something changed later, he/she cannot go back and change it.
Tip #3: Know That Child Support Is Not Covered By The Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are not binding. They only protect assets that you own individually or which you acquire during the course of your marriage. Also, child support is generally court-ordered and cannot be waived by prenups. However, if both spouses agree to waive child support (which is rare), then it can be part of a prenuptial agreement in Arizona.
Child support must always be addressed separately from other issues within a prenuptial agreement because courts will not enforce provisions related to child custody or visitation unless they are deemed “fair” by the judges.
Tip #4: Keep In Mind That Your Income Is Considered Community Property Without A Prenuptial Agreement
The court presumes that all income earned by either party during the marriage is community property. If you and your spouse do not sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married, then you both have an equal interest in whatever combined income you earn during the marriage, even if one of you earns most or all of it.
Both spouses’ debts and assets will be divided equally between them in Arizona and across the United States if the couple does not sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. For those without significant assets, this may seem like nothing to worry about. However, for those with significant assets or those whose future earnings potential looks promising, this could cause marital assets to be distributed unequally at divorce.
Tip #5: Have Your Prenuptial Agreement Notarized
Having your prenuptial agreement notarized is important for a number of reasons. It ensures that the agreements are legally binding and provides evidence of the validity of the contract.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that can help protect each spouse’s financial interests in the event of a divorce. It lists what belongs to you and your soon-to-be spouse before you get married, such as property, savings accounts, and investments.
For any Arizona couple who wants to make sure their assets are protected in case of a divorce, they should consider getting a prenuptial agreement. If the agreement is not signed and notarized, then it will be difficult for it to be enforced in court.
We know you’ve got a lot on your mind about prenuptial agreements in Arizona. That is why we are here for you, to answer any questions and provide the guidance that only an experienced family law attorney can offer. If there’s anything else we can do to help make this process go more smoothly, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Give us a call today so we can start getting all of your paperwork together – it’ll be worth it when everything has been taken care of ahead of time. It may seem like one less thing to worry about but trust us when we say that taking these steps before marriage will save both parties from heartache later down the road.
Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust?
The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way. During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!
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