Pre- & Postnuptial Agreements Attorneys
in Glendale & Tucson, Arizona
Married couples often agree to share their property, assets, finances, and debts, while other married couples intend to keep their property, assets, finances, and debts separate and do not share accounts. However, Arizona law will presume an intent to share those assets and debts unless the parties have an enforceable written contract not to share them. Without such a contract, money earned, assets acquired, and debts incurred during the marriage will generally be presumed to belong to both parties, even if only one spouse's name is on the account.
The safest way to ensure that the parties' intention to keep their assets and debts separate, and/or to define how their assets and debts will be split in the event of a dissolution/divorce or legal separation, is with a properly written document. If the parties enter into this agreement before they are married, it is called a prenuptial/premarital agreement, or "prenup." If the parties enter into this agreement, it is called a postnuptial agreement or "postnup."
Prenups and postnups help provide couples with security and certainty and can also help minimize conflict during an already stressful divorce or separation. Issues such as the award of bank accounts, retirement assets, credit card debt, real property, and even spousal support can be addressed in this agreement. Child Support, however, cannot be addressed in advance of the dissolution or legal separation.
If your fiance or spouse has asked you to consider or sign a prenup or postnup, you should consult with an Arizona family law attorney in order to ensure that your rights are being protected and that your intentions are clearly specified. You should not rely on the other party or their attorney to protect your rights, and your decision not to have your own lawyer review the document will not be a defense or make the agreement unenforceable.
If these marital agreements are not drafted and executed properly, however, they may not be enforceable in the event of a dissolution/divorce or legal separation. If you are considering creating a marital agreement with your fiancé or spouse, it is important that you consult with an experienced Arizona family law attorney for detailed guidance. At the Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., we are committed to offering knowledgeable legal counsel and reliable advocacy to individuals and families in the legal matters of marital agreements. Our trusted lawyers are available to discuss your unique situation and walk you through every legal step involved in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
The Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C. proudly serves clients across Glendale and Tucson, Arizona, and throughout the State of Arizona.
What Is a Marital Agreement?
A marital agreement can be described as a legal contract specifying how a couple's assets, property, finances, and debts will be divided or distributed in the event of marital dissolution – divorce or legal separation. Couples can:
Enter into the marital agreement before getting married (prenuptial agreement), or
Enter into the marital agreement after getting married (postnuptial agreement)
Prenuptial Agreements in Arizona
A prenuptial agreement – also known as a premarital agreement or prenup – is a marital agreement entered into by couples who are engaged and not yet married. Prenups are important, especially when one party or both parties have significant assets, significant debts, or different financial habits.
What Can Prenuptial Agreements Do?
A prenuptial agreement can help you and your future spouse achieve the following:
Determine how assets and property will be owned during marriage and/or distributed in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
Describe the financial duties, responsibilities, and obligations of each spouse.
Establish the financial rights of each spouse.
Determine how finances, household bills, and other expenses will be shared.
Protect either spouse from the debts or liabilities incurred by their partner.
Protect estate plans and ensure that family assets remain within the family.
Determine spousal support (alimony) in the event of a dissolution or legal separation.
A knowledgeable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement attorney can walk you through the process of drafting your prenup or postnup and make sure that all necessary details are covered.
What Don't They Cover?
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not cover the following:
Child custody or visitation matters
Child support matters
Provisions about anything illegal or against public policy
An experienced family law attorney can help draw up your premarital or postmarital agreement and help you make informed decisions.
Can They Be Modified?
Yes, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be modified if both spouses agree to modify them in writing. To modify or prenup or a postnup, you can either make adjustments to the existing marital agreement or sign a separate contract that changes the terms and provisions of the existing premarital agreement.
Your attorney will help draft an addendum to the original agreement. Once executed, any new changes – terms, provisions, or conditions – will become a part of the agreement and will replace any prior terms that conflict with the new ones.
Who Should Get One?
You should consider getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement if:
You or your partner are bringing assets into the marriage.
You or your partner have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
You or your partner are entering the marriage with debts or liabilities.
There is a disparity in financial status (one spouse has significantly more/less money or earning ability than the other party).
You or your partner are remarrying.
You and your partner have different financial habits.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not only for spouses who are wealthy or a person who believes they may get a divorce later. Whether you have large assets, small assets, or a business, you and your future spouse can benefit from getting a premarital or postmarital agreement.
Why Premarital and Postmarital Agreements Are Important
Establishing a marital agreement with your future or current spouse is important because it can help you achieve the following:
Establish clear financial boundaries and define expectations.
Keep heirlooms, assets, businesses, and personal belongings within the family.
Facilitate healthy communication with your partner regarding your finances.
Specify how you and your partner may spend your income or finances after getting married.
Protect you against unexpected future events.
Achieve financial security and peace of mind.
Provide for or against and award of spousal support in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
A skilled Arizona family law attorney can help review or draft a prenup or postnup to fit your unique needs and ensure that it is legally binding and enforceable.
Ensuring It Is Enforceable
For a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable in Arizona, it must meet the following requirements, in addition to other legal requirements:
It must be in writing.
It must be signed voluntarily by both parties.
It must be signed after fair and reasonable disclosure of property, assets, and financial obligations by both parties.
It must not be unconscionable.
Work With a Knowledgeable
Family Law Attorney
When planning to get married you also need to prepare for the unexpected events of life. If you are already married but your financial circumstances are changing, then you should consider a postnup. In the event of a marital breakdown, having a prenup or postnup agreement in place can help you establish property rights, protect accumulated assets, achieve financial protection, and settle disputes during the marital dissolution proceedings. A knowledgeable family law attorney can offer you the reliable legal guidance and advocacy you need when creating your marital agreements.
At the Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C., we have the diligence, resources, and experience to advise and guide individuals and couples through the complexities involved in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Our trusted attorneys will evaluate the details of your unique situation, enlighten you about the benefits and risks, and explore your available legal options. As your legal counsel, we will craft a strategic plan to protect your assets, finances, property, and future.
Pre- & Postnuptial Agreements Attorneys Serving Glendale & Tucson, AZ
If you're considering drawing up a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse or fiancé, contact the Law Offices of Vescio & Seifert, P.C. today for a consultation. Our trusted team can offer you the personalized legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need in your marital agreement matters. We're proud to serve clients across Glendale, Tucson, and throughout the State of Arizona.