FAMILY LAW FAQ
I recently got engaged. Should
I get a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial, or
premarital, agreement is an agreement between a couple contemplating marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can cover a wide range of issues, such as
maintenance, child support and
property division. These agreements are binding
and will override state family and probate law in the event of death or divorce,
unless the court finds the agreement to be invalid. Courts may decline to
enforce a premarital agreement if, for example, one spouse did not execute the
agreement voluntarily, or if the agreement was extremely one-sided and one
spouse was not provided fair and reasonable disclosure of the property and
financial obligations of the other spouse.
prenuptial agreement may not be appropriate for everyone, some couples may
prefer to address these issues before marriage, so they know how the issues will
be decided in the event of death or divorce. Below are some examples of
circumstances where signing a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial:
One spouse’s income is significantly higher than the other spouse’s income,
and the higher-income spouse wants to limit the amount of spousal maintenance
the other spouse can receive. Alternatively, if one spouse supports the family
while the other spouse pursues a profitable career, the spouse who stayed home
could ensure compensation for his or her contribution to the marriage.
One spouse, who has significantly more assets or debts than the other spouse,
wants to prevent the other spouse from receiving these assets or from being held
responsible for the debt.
One spouse owns a business or
is a part-owner of a business and wants to prevent the other spouse from
receiving interest in the business.
At least one spouse
has children from a previous marriage and wants to protect their inheritance
On the other hand, by entering into a prenuptial
agreement, you could waive rights to which you would otherwise be entitled under
Arizona law. It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney
before entering into a prenuptial agreement.