Despite their somewhat negative reputation, prenuptial agreements are incredibly beneficial for any couple that intends to be married, regardless of wealth. Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can provide individuals and couples with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their futures are protected. In fact, these agreements are not only used in the event of divorce; in some cases, they can be used to dictate how assets and properties should be handled in the event of incapacitation or death.
If you are interested in creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or have been asked by your spouse or future spouse to sign such an agreement, we can help you understand your rights and options. No matter your particular situation, our Michigan prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorneys are here to answer your questions and handle any concerns you may have.
Call Grewal Law PLLC at (888) 211-5798 or contact us online today to schedule a no-cost consultation.
Protect Yourself before Marriage with a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by two people who intend to marry but are not yet married. While no one likes to think about the possibility of divorce, illness, or death, it is wise to take practical steps to protect yourself in the event that any of these situations eventually occur. Michigan family courts consider any property obtained, earned, or accumulated during marriage to be the property of both spouses. The courts may also consider any income earned prior to the marriage to be “marital property” if it is used for the benefit of both spouses during the marriage (for example, if it is used to purchase a shared home).
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid in the state of Michigan, it must be meet the following requirements:
- It must be reasonably fair and equitable to both spouses
- Both spouses must voluntarily enter into the agreement
- Both spouses must fully disclose their properties/assets
- The agreement must be free of fraud and cannot break state of federal laws
- Both spouses must be mentally competent and neither can use coercion to force the other to sign the agreement
- The agreement must be signed by both spouses
Additionally, if it comes time to enforce the agreement, the facts and circumstances of the marriage and/or both individuals cannot have changed so much as to make enforcement unreasonable or significantly unfair to one spouse.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Essentially, a postnuptial agreement is just like a prenuptial agreement except that it is signed after two people have already married. Historically, postnuptial agreements have not always been upheld in Michigan courts. However, recent cases have set a precedent for the validity of these types of agreements.
You may wish to sign a postnuptial agreement if:
- You have obtained significant assets since the date of your marriage
- You received a large inheritance or were gifted property
- You have children from a previous marriage that you wish to protect
- Either you or your spouse has acquired significant debts
- You wish to protect yourself against potential tax ramifications
Regardless of the reason for signing a postnuptial agreement, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in this particular area of law. Because they are generally considered less valid than prenuptial agreements, it is crucial that you work with an attorney to make sure that your assets and future are protected.
What Do Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Cover?
In general, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are used to dictate the distribution of assets and/or properties in the event of divorce, incapacitation, or death.
However, these agreements actually cover a wide range of things, including but not limited to:
- The division of property and assets
- The division of business interests
- The division of retirement and investment accounts
- The ability of each spouse to manage certain assets
- If alimony will be paid and, if so, which spouse will pay
- The amount of alimony to be paid, as well as the duration of payments
- The division of life insurance proceeds
- The inheritance of children from previous marriages/relationships
It is important to note that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements cannot be used to determine issues related to child custody and support. You cannot use a prenuptial agreement to waive your obligation to pay child support or to assert a right to sole child custody in the event of divorce.
Reach Out to Our Firm Today
If you are interested in creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact Grewal Law PLLC for a free consultation. We work with couples and individuals to find personalized solutions designed to meet their particular needs. Our prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience and, with three convenient office locations, we are proud to serve clients throughout the state of Michigan.