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Are Prenuptial Agreements Still Valid in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Dec 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

Photo by Ty Welch on Unsplash

There are many concerns for people that are planning a wedding, the venue for the reception, guest lists, seating arrangements, paying for it all and many, many other things.  A wise thing to consider for many people getting married is a prenuptial agreement or contract.  These contracts are considered valid and enforceable in Michigan upon divorce, separation and death.  There are some requirements for it to be enforceable, such as full disclosure and lack of coercion, so it is advisable for both parties to have an attorney, one side to draft the agreement and then on the other side to review and request any necessary revisions.

Who Should Get a Prenuptial in Michigan?

Frankly, it is wise for anyone who is getting married to at least consult with a family law attorney regarding a prenuptial and what they are legally getting into when they get married.  However, there are at least four categories where a prenuptial is essential: (1) business and small business owners, (2) people who have children from a previous relationship, (3) people who have inherited or will most likely inherit significant funds or property and (3) people who have a high income or a potential for a high income as compared to the other spouse..

If you are in any of these categories', I highly recommend that you get a prenuptial.  There are many reasons that each of these categories' require a prenuptial, so the following explanation is for example purposes only.  Business owners must protect the business, if there is no prenuptial agreement, then the other spouse, despite never having worked in the business or contributed to the family business will be entitled to up to at least fifty (50%) percent of the value.  This is in addition to half of all the other property and most likely alimony also known as spousal support in Michigan.  People who have children from a previous marriage must protect the children and a prenuptial combined with a well-crafted estate plan will allow you to do that.  If there is no prenuptial, then upon death, the other spouse will inherit most if not all of the deceased spouse's assets, not the children.  With Inheritances, the person that inherits the property or owned the property before the marriage must keep that property separate or it will be considered part of the marital estate to divide equally with the non-inheriting spouse.  A prenuptial helps make it clear that there is no intent for the inheritance to become marital property and provides guidelines for how to maintain that inheritance's separate nature.  Finally, if you have a much higher income or it is anticipated that you will have a much higher income than your spouse, you must protect yourself from a substantial spousal support award to the other spouse.

Every situation is different, so if you are considering getting married this spring or summer, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation either through our online contact form or by calling (248) 608-4123.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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