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Tempe Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

When entering into a marriage, few people consider the possibility that their marriage might eventually fail, so few couples contemplate getting a “prenup” (prenuptial agreement) to protect their assets, finances, and to contemplate spousal maintenance in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial or premarital agreement isn’t entered into with the intention of getting a divorce, rather it’s a legal contract to protect you in the event it does happen. 

tempe prenuptial agreement lawyer

Adriana Blanchette, a qualified Tempe prenuptial agreement lawyer, and her team at Blanchette Law PLLC have extensive experience drafting and enforcing prenuptial agreements that comply with Arizona laws and requirements and in objecting to and opposing those that didn’t satisfy the codified requirements.

Your future and financial security is too important to risk. Call Blanchette Law PLLC today at (602) 881-1748 to schedule your consultation for a prenuptial agreement.

Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between prospective spouses that’s made in contemplation of marriage and is effective upon their marriage. The agreement that defines each party’s rights and responsibilities during and after marriage should they separate or divorce, with special attention given to their financial rights and how the debts and assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.

Under Arizona Revised Statute §25-202, a valid and enforceable premarital agreement must be in writing voluntarily signed by both parties, and it cannot be unconscionable. A prenuptial agreement may be found unenforceable if the person against whom enforcement is sought can prove any of the following:

  1. They didn’t execute the agreement voluntarily
  2. The agreement itself is unreasonable or immoral
  3. Prior to signing the agreement, the person upon whom enforcement is sought:
    1. Wasn’t provided a full and accurate disclosure of the other party’s assets and debts
    2. Didn’t expressly waive in writing their right to full disclosure of the other party’s assets and debts
    3. Didn’t have, and reasonably couldn’t have had, adequate knowledge of the other party’s property or financial obligations.

It might take a considerable amount of time to provide a complete disclosure of your property and financial obligations, and it might take additional time to obtain a disclosure from your prospective spouse.

Getting a premarital agreement drafted with the proper disclosures and allowing both parties time to review the agreement with independent counsel can take time, so it’s best not to wait until the last minute to discuss a prenup with your partner.

What You Can and Can’t Include in a Premarital Agreement

tempe prenuptial agreement document

If you have an enforceable prenuptial agreement at the time of your divorce, the court will likely honor the terms of that agreement, subject to any written revocations, transmutations or other conversions of property, or if a proper exception might otherwise apply. In Arizona, premarital agreements can include:

  • Each party’s rights and obligations of each other’s property and debts or obligations that they possessed upon marriage
  • The management and control of property
  • The disposition of property and debts upon separation or divorce
  • The manner in which property will be treated upon the death of either spouse, including death benefits from life insurance policies
  • The modification or elimination of spousal support, however, if at the time of dissolution enforcing the waiver of spousal maintenance would allow one party to qualify for public assistance, the court may order sufficient support to rid them of that eligibility.

A premarital agreement cannot:

  •  Limit child support, as doing so would be against public policy and be against the best interests of the child
  • Penalize one spouse for lifestyle choices such as adultery because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state
  • Allow either spouse to engage in any activity which is criminal or that is against the applicable rules such as hiding assets from a spouse.

Why You Should Consider Getting a Prenup

Arizona law might protect some of the assets that you entered the marriage with, a premarital agreement can further expand upon your rights to that property by limiting the community’s interest in it.

A premarital agreement is an excellent way to preserve your finances, though you might be wondering if one is necessary. You should consider getting a premarital agreement if any of the following apply to you.  

1. You have significant wealth

Once you get married, it’s easy to get different aspects of your and your spouse’s lives intertwined by commingling assets. However, keeping certain things separate or at least exclusively under your name is advisable, and a premarital agreement might even protect your separate property assets even if they are commingled.

2. You are retired or planning to retire

Many people who are getting married or remarried later in life are concerned about what will happen to their retirement should the new union fall apart. Suppose you want to leave a legacy to the children of your first marriage when you die, but you also want to protect the financial security of your new spouse.

In this case, you can use a prenup to enforce a specific estate plan that will ensure your children are cared for while still providing for the needs of your new spouse. You can also alter an estate plan without a premarital agreement at any time without notice.

3. You or your spouse are going into the marriage with substantial debt

If your partner had substantial debt before your marriage, a prenuptial agreement could help protect your financial foundation in the event of a divorce, and vice versa. It will protect you from the legal obligations of that debt so you don’t have to assume any responsibility for your spouse’s financial woes.

4. You’re planning to start a business or have an ownership interest in a business

tempe prenuptial agreement lawyer couple

A business can turn divorce litigation into a complex and costly affair because forensic accountants are needed to conduct a business valuation so that the community interest in the business can be equitably divided. A prenuptial agreement can alleviate some of that headache by pre-determining what will happen to the business in the event of a divorce.

For example, the agreement might state that the business and its profits will remain the sole and separate property of the spouse who owned the business before marriage, or they can include a value of the business at the time of the premarital agreement and include provisions that the community is entitled to a certain percentage of the business’ growth at the time of divorce. 

5. You have substantial inherited assets you want to protect

If you had inherited assets before getting married, you might be interested in protecting them during your marriage. The same applies to assets you may have earned by yourself before filing for divorce. The last thing you need is a debilitating financial setback if your marriage does not work out.  Using a prenuptial agreement, you can classify hour assets as separate property so your spouse does not have a claim over them in the future.

Engaged? Congratulations – We’ll help protect your rights and interests with a prenup.

Prenuptial agreements can seem like an unnecessary expense if you don’t feel that you have enough assets to stress over, or you might feel like asking for one is setting up your marriage for failure. Tempe prenuptial agreement lawyer Adriana Blanchette will answer your questions regarding your specific financial situation, and will determine and recommend the appropriate provisions to include in your prenuptial agreement.

Call (602) 881-1748 today to schedule your consultation with Blanchette Law PLLC.

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