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Why Michigan Couples Should Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on in Family Law

Oakland County Divorce LawyerA prenuptial or premarital agreement is a means by which individuals can protect any property that they respectively own prior to the marriage. Individuals who plan to marry also can use a prenuptial agreement to set forth certain rights and responsibilities, such as with respect to spousal support, in the event that they divorce in the future. While a prenuptial agreement may seem unromantic to some, it is a practical way to protect yourself financially, just in case things do not work out as planned. A properly executed prenuptial agreement also can eliminate future uncertainty, particularly if you are facing a second or subsequent marriage.

Requirements for Valid Prenuptial Agreement

In order to be valid under Michigan law, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and voluntarily signed by both parties. Any subsequent modification or termination of a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. While it is not required that either party be represented by an attorney in drafting of a prenuptial agreement, it is highly recommended that both parties consult with their own separate attorneys prior to signing any agreement. This step can help you greatly if one party later claims that the agreement is invalid. Finally, both parties must fully disclose all assets and debts at the time of the agreement. If one party fails to disclose property, the prenuptial agreement may be legally invalid.

Permissible Content for a Michigan Prenuptial Agreement

There are several different issues that you can address in a prenuptial agreement. For instance, you can address property and debts that each of you individually own prior to the marriage, to prevent them from being divided as marital property during your divorce. This is particularly helpful if you own a business prior to the marriage or have inherited substantial property.

It also can protect an inheritance that you intend your children from a prior relationship to receive. A prenuptial agreement also can limit or prohibit spousal support awards if the parties divorce in the future. Other common provisions in a prenuptial agreement involve the creation and/or disposition of a will or trust, and the ownership of death benefits from life insurance policies. However, it is important to note that prenuptial agreements cannot address matters that violate public policy, such as parenting plans and child support.

Contact an Oakland County Family Law Attorney

If you are planning on getting married, make sure you have “speak to a Novi, MI family lawyer about a prenup” on your wedding to-do list. Signing a prenuptial agreement with your fiancé does not mean you are convinced that the marriage will not work. It just means that you are taking the steps to protect yourself and your children in the event things change in the future. Call Elkouri Heath, PLC at 248-344-9700 to learn more.

 

Source:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(gaqkub1v4fvylmtmgvdp5syu))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-600-5071

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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