If you did not draw up a prenuptial agreement before you were married, a very good alternative is the postnuptial agreement.
A post nuptial contract is essentially the same as a prenuptial agreement, except the husband and wife fulfill the agreement after they are married. I like to refer to these contracts as “midnuptial agreements,” since you and your spouse enter into the agreement in the middle of your marriage. You are not expecting to divorce or separate any time soon.
What Is the Purpose of Post Nuptial Agreements?
Post nuptial agreements provide a positive, responsible way for you and your spouse to communicate your wishes about your wealth, assets, and inheritance. It provides fair and realistic control of each of your own interests.
If you are considering entering into a post nuptial agreement in Michigan, contact our firm today. I can help you understand what role a post nuptial agreement can play in your marriage, such as the protection of:
- the individual wealth of each partner
- the inheritances of each partner
- the estate and estate planning options of each partner
- the inheritances of your children
- liability for debt
- a family business
Are Post Nuptial Agreements in Michigan Legally Binding?
Yes, they are legally enforceable contracts, but their drafting and execution require special care. Why? Because courts are vigilant about signs of fraud or undue influence.
In marriage, both parties have well defined legal rights regarding property division. When you negotiate a post nuptial agreement, you will be giving up some of these rights. Because of this, you need an experienced attorney to ensure that both parties are fair in the agreement.
Post nuptial agreements in Michigan may never be used as divorce planning tools. If one spouse feels that their marriage is ending, they might try to pressure their partner into a post nuptial agreement. This obviously defeats the legal intent of the contract. Michigan courts will not uphold the agreement if there is any such indication that this has occurred.
If indeed you are considering separation in the near future, the legal solution for you may be a “separation agreement” or “property settlement agreement.” If you are considering divorce in the near future, I would advise you to first file for divorce.
What Are the Requirements of Post Nuptial Agreements in Michigan?
Basically, the requirements for post nuptial agreements are the same as for prenuptial agreements, with at least two additional components that we must address.
- “Consideration” must be present in a post nuptial agreement.
Consideration is what supports a contract and makes it legally binding. That is, each spouse must exchange something of value, such as property, money, or a promise. With a prenuptial agreement, the promise to marry from both partners serves as consideration. But a postnuptial agreement requires further consideration, such as a mutual surrender of marital property rights or a transfer of specific property from one spouse to the other.
- The agreement must not be made in contemplation of divorce.
When drafting post nuptial agreements in Michigan, the attorney needs to take great care how the wording is presented. The language of the agreement must show that the purpose of the post nuptial is for the husband and wife to agree to an amicable settlement of property issues, with no contemplation or facilitation of imminent divorce.
Learn More by Speaking with a Michigan Family Law Attorney
Many other factors must be applied to create a fair post nuptial agreement in accordance with Michigan statutes. I am deeply aware of the issues that are required for proper drafting, as well as the issues that undermine the validity of post nuptial agreements. I meticulously draft each agreement and will readily provide you with advice about the meaning or impact of the language contained in them.
If you have any questions, call me at 248.608.4123 for an initial consultation about post nuptial agreements in Michigan.