Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Arizona
Spouses can enter into spousal agreements before marriage, or at any time during the marriage to control certain aspects of the marital property. These agreements are most commonly used to define property as separate instead of community, and to provide terms for spousal support.
Some believe that spouses who create prenuptial agreements are merely forecasting the failure of their marriage. In many regards, however, creating a prenuptial agreement amounts to nothing more than thorough planning. Nobody gets married expecting it to end in divorce, however according to some statistics, more than half of all marriages are dissolved. And while prenuptial agreements do not increase the likelihood of divorce, they do make things easier if the marriage doesn’t work out as planned.
Spouses are free to include any term in a prenuptial agreement that is not unconscionable, criminal, or in violation of public policy. Furthermore, spouses cannot include terms to control child custody or child support in a prenuptial agreement. On the other hand, premarital agreements commonly include terms to control property interests, expenses, division of property, and alimony.
Speaking with an Arizona family law attorney about a prenuptial agreement is important for a number of reasons. First of all, not everybody requires such an agreement, and a Mesa prenuptial agreement attorney can best explain whether the existing laws provide sufficient protection without a prenuptial agreement. Secondly, premarital agreements are only as good as they are enforceable in court, so it is critical that an attorney with expertise in contract and family law drafts them.
Marital agreements are not limited to prenuptial agreements. Spouses can also enter into marital agreements after they have wed, known as postnuptial agreements. Postnuptial agreements are sometimes used to resolve financial disputes between spouses, and can sometimes provide an alternative to divorce or separation. With a properly drafted postnuptial agreement, spouses can separate their income and create clear financial boundaries. As with prenuptial agreements, however, postnuptial agreements can be deemed unenforceable for a number of reasons.
To ensure their enforceability, spouses should consult with a knowledgeable Arizona family law attorney. To speak with an Arizona prenuptial agreement attorney in Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, Glendale or Phoenix, call JacksonWhite, at (480) 464-1111.
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