Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Ogden, Utah
Whether you are planning an upcoming wedding or are already married, it is important to look to the future and plan accordingly. For many couples, this means drafting prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, which can become crucial for financial planning, inheritances, and other aspects of a marriage. While both agreements are enforced by Utah law, each has its own set of unique factors. For example, while prenuptial agreements focus on how a couple will plan their finances and spell out ownership of property and other assets, a postnuptial agreement often focuses on inheritances to children, as well as business ventures of the spouses. If you are considering having these agreements in place, here are some important tips to remember.
Minimizing Effects of Divorce
When a couple is first married, or perhaps has even had a happy marriage for many years, the last thing they expect to happen is a divorce. However, even in the best of marriages, circumstances sometimes occur that lead to this unfortunate situation. Because of this, many attorneys advise couples, especially those where at least one person is bringing substantial assets to the marriage, to have a prenuptial agreement in place prior to their wedding. This can be crucial should a divorce occur, since a prenup is considered to be much more enforceable than a postnuptial agreement. In many cases, courts in Utah are hesitant to enforce a postnuptial agreement, especially if the couple accumulated their wealth together while married.
For a prenuptial agreement to be considered enforceable by Utah courts, both parties must participate in full disclosure prior to the agreement being drafted and signed. By this, it means both individuals must reveal all of their assets, which will allow the other person to make an informed decision prior to signing the agreement. In addition, these agreements cannot simply be oral agreements, but must instead be in writing and signed by both parties prior to the marriage. If for any reason fraud can be proven after signing of the agreement, a court can rule it to be nonbinding.
Protection of Inheritances
In the case of postnuptial agreements, protecting the inheritances of their children is often the top priority of the couple. While most people are aware of prenuptial agreements, far fewer are aware that a postnuptial agreement can be written up even after a couple has been married for many years. Also referred to as a post marital agreement, this contract can offer certain stipulations regarding inheritances for children. As an example, should the couple divorce or suffer the death of one of the spouses, the postnuptial agreement could stipulate that should either spouse remarry, all family assets of the couple would pass not to the new spouse, but rather to the children. Also, if a couple has extensive business ventures while married, this document can also specify how the interests in these can play out as well.
In certain situations where a couple may be heading toward divorce but suddenly decide to reconcile and give their marriage a second chance, a postnuptial agreement can play a significant role in providing financial security to both spouses. While both spouses may be excited at the prospect of a reconciliation, they will naturally still be nervous about what the future may hold. Thus, by having this agreement in place, it will be easier to have certain assets of each spouse protected, enabling them to focus on repairing their relationship.
Consequences of Not Having These Agreements
For couples who have large amounts of assets and choose not to have a prenup or postnuptial agreement in place prior to or during their marriage, the consequences can be dire should they at some point decide to divorce. For example, if one spouse brings tremendous assets to the marriage but then is dealing with divorce proceedings, their assets, business interests, and even their children’s inheritances will all come into play, and are considered fair game when it comes to asset division during the divorce. Because of this, most family law attorneys strongly recommend having these agreements in place to ensure valuable assets are protected.
Even if you are preparing to marry the love of your life, or are currently married to someone with whom you never expect to divorce, having prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements in place can be a smart decision. Rather than face the unexpected and deal with difficult financial situations later on, work with a family law attorney to have these agreements in place as soon as possible.
Experienced Legal Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Guidance
Many couples who want to sign a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement need some extra guidance, and as experienced Ogden family law attorneys, we help our clients make the most realistic decisions before they get married. To ensure that your prenuptial agreement is in accordance with Utah state laws, consult with our qualified Ogden lawyers. Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman, have the experience, dedication, and knowledge to help you make the best decisions for you and your spouse. For more information, please call (801) 752-0499.