Pre / Post Nuptial Agreements Frequently Asked Questions
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns, as well as any debts, and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage if there is a divorce.
Do I need an attorney to draft or review my prenuptial agreement with me?
Both you and your fiancé should each hire a family law attorney to individually represent you in the drafting and review of your prenuptial agreement. An experienced family lawyer at Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. can help you define your short-term and long-term goals in reaching an agreement with your fiancé.
Can payment of spousal support be waived under the terms of my prenuptial agreement?
Yes, spousal support may be waived under the terms of a prenuptial agreement.
I do not have a lot of money or property going into this marriage. Do I really need a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich. While they are often used to protect the assets of the wealthy, couples of more modest means are increasingly turning to them for their own purposes. For example, a marrying couple with children from prior marriages may use a prenup to spell out what will happen to their property when they die, so that they can pass on separate property to their children. Without a prenuptial agreement, a surviving spouse might have the right to claim a large portion of the other spouse’s property, leaving much less for the kids.
What happens to my property if I do not have a prenuptial agreement?
If you do not make a prenuptial agreement, state laws will determine who owns the property that you acquire during your marriage, as well as what happens to that property at divorce or death. In the absence of a prenup stating otherwise, a spouse usually has the right to:
Share ownership of property acquired during marriage, with the expectation that the property will be divided between the spouses in the event of a divorce or at death.
Incur debts during marriage that the other spouse may have to pay for, and share in the management and control of any marital or community property, sometimes including the right to sell it or give it away.
Why would I want a post nuptial agreement?
These agreements are popular when parties are having difficulties in their marriage but want to attempt reconciliation without being concerned about the financial aspects of divorce. Some people feel that if they don’t have to worry about money they can focus on the relationship. Other people use post nuptial agreements where there are children from prior marriages and estate planning is at issue. Another reason is to try and avoid the prospect of a messy divorce by spelling out the intentions of the parties.
Are postnups enforceable in court?
Yes. They are considered binding contracts when properly drafted. Michigan law specifically recognizes their validity. One of the most important elements in entering into a binding agreement is that full disclosure of assets occur.