Michigan Prenuptial Agreement ∙ Counsel, Drafting and Execution
People who are preparing to marry may consider whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement.
It is true that “marriage prenups” are not necessarily for everyone. People who want to maintain their own separate assets and income into the future can benefit greatly from the practicality and peace of mind a prenuptial agreement will provide. Others simply want to take extra caution.
Every situation is different, and it is important that you consult with a family law attorney with significant experience in this area. If this is an option you are considering, I will be glad to advise you about executing a Michigan prenuptial agreement. I have drafted and litigated many cases involving pre-nuptials, and will be able to answer any question you may have.
While some couples tend to shun the thought of thinking about “what happens if we divorce,” be assured that prenuptial agreements are not precursors to divorce. Many couples now realize that prenuptial agreements are a practical part of a successful estate plan. It is not something to enter into lightly, and it requires mature and wise thinking.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract a man and a woman enter into before marriage. The contract lists the assets and debts each person has going into the marriage. Both parties agree to each person's property rights should the marriage end in divorce. In effect, the parties agree to modify or give up certain rights to assets of their future spouse, which they otherwise would receive simply because of the marriage.
Assets could include their prospective spouse's real estate or inheritance, rights to inherit property from their spouse in the event of death, and other rights endowed to a wife or husband by virtue of their marriage.
Throughout Michigan, prenuptial agreements help many couples avoid expensive divorce litigation. Prenuptial agreements can be a wise choice for people who
- own a small family business, or are partners in family business
- have children from a previous marriage
- own a home, stock, real estate or any asset that could be profitable in the future
- may receive an inheritance
- wish to cover alimony issues in the event of a divorce.
In Michigan, prenuptial agreements are flexible and forward-looking tools that can be used in many proactive ways. As your attorney, I will carefully advise you about all the options appropriate for your situation. However, and rightly so, prenuptial agreements cannot be used in any manner to determine child support or child custody.
Are Michigan Prenuptial Agreements Binding?
Yes – when they are handled properly and formally, prenuptial agreements are enforceable in court, and especially for long term marriages. In fact, Michigan courts have encouraged prospective marriage partners to enter into these agreements.
To ensure your prenuptial agreement is binding, it is highly recommended that each partner to the agreement be represented by separate attorneys from separate law firms. This is not mandatory, but this approach will help eliminate claims of force, fraud, or unreasonable pressure from one spouse upon the other.
You should also execute the agreement as far in advance of the wedding as possible, rather than a week or day before the wedding.
What Can Be Included in a Michigan Prenuptial Agreement?
Many property and financial conditions and requirements should be outlined in the preparation of a prenuptial agreement. It is also essential that both parties completely disclose all assets and debts during the drafting of a marital prenup. Other provisions to be arranged for are:
- What happens to inheritable financial assets earned by both spouses while married
- What happens if a spouse dies
- What happens to assets and debts realized before the marriage
- What happens to assets and debts realized during the marriage
- How will assets be divided between children of the expected marriage and all previous marriages of both spouses
There are many other financial factors to consider that I will advise you on.
Questions About Michigan Prenuptial Agreements? Contact Us
Arrange an initial consultation to ask a Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer your questions. I can help you and your future partner in marriage draft an agreement that is fair and would be upheld in court in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.
Already married? A postnuptial agreement may be the answer. We handle all aspects of prenuptial and post nuptial agreements in Michigan.