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Michigan Family Law Blog

Friday, July 27, 2018

Your Michigan Prenup Checklist - Get Organized Before You Sign

Many couples are choosing to enter prenuptial agreements for a variety of reasons. Some couples want to protect premarital property, or they have children from a prior relationship they want to protect. Other couples may want to settle issues related to a family business or family wealth. Regardless of the reason you want to discuss a prenuptial agreement, it is important to be organized and prepared for the meeting with a Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer and your spouse. Preparation and organization can make the process of developing a prenuptial agreement easier for both of you.

Michigan Prenup Checklist — Considerations and Documents

To be prepared to negotiate and sign your prenuptial agreement, you need to organize your thoughts and documents. Some of the issues you need to consider, and documents you need to provide to your Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer include:

  • Premarital Assets — In most cases, premarital assets are protected from property division in a prenuptial agreement. Therefore, you need to make a list of major assets that you wish to be specifically listed as premarital property. It can be helpful to provide copies of titles, registrations, and other proof of ownership to your Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer so that detailed information may be included in the prenup to identify the property.
  • Income and Debts – If either party has premarital debts, you must decide how this will be handled during the marriage. Likewise, decisions about how income and debts will be handled during the marriage are also important. Also, do not forget to address who will handle paying the bills during the marriage and if you will maintain separate bank accounts. You need to disclose all income and debts during the prenuptial negotiation process. Therefore, gathering copies of statements, tax returns, bills, and other financial documents now can avoid delays during the negotiations.
  • Marital Assets During your marriage, you will probably purchase large assets, such as vehicles, homes, boats, and other items. You need to give some thought to how decisions will be made to purchase large assets, how those assets will be titled, and who pays for the assets.
  • Child Support For Children From a Prior Relationship It is important to consider how to handle child support payments you receive from a previous partner. Will those funds go into a separate account? How will expenses for the child be paid if child support does not cover all expenses?
  • Employment — Will both spouses work outside the home or does one spouse plan to remain in the home as a caregiver? It is extremely important to give serious thought to how you will acknowledge the contributions of a spouse who remains at home as a caregiver or simply chooses not to work outside of the home. Will you have a family account that both spouses can use for basic expenses? How will you determine “basic” discretionary spending versus luxury items?
  • Alimony and Spousal Support Do you expect to receive or pay support payments in the event of a separation or divorce? You need to consider how alimony will be handled based on various factors including the reason for the divorce, age, health, length of the marriage, etc. How will alimony be paid? Will a spouse receive a lump sum or monthly payments?
  • Gifts and Inheritances — When you receive gifts or inheritances, will those items be considered marital property subject to property division in a divorce? You may want to treat certain items differently from other items.
  • Future Goals — You need to make a list of your future financial goals to discuss with your partner. Meeting with a financial planner in addition to your Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you determine the goals you should set for yourself and your marriage.
  • Health and Incapacitation — Address how serious health conditions or incapacity will be addressed. Does each spouse expect to receive support if the spouse becomes disabled? How will health care expenses be paid? Will the parties split the cost of personal care, especially if the other spouse works outside of the home?

In most cases, couples will have additional issues and questions to address when developing a prenuptial agreement. An experienced Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer can be extremely helpful in guiding you through the process to ensure all matters are discussed and resolved.

A Michigan Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Can Help

A Michigan prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you work through each of the factors and considerations that must be addressed within a prenuptial agreement. Contact Michigan prenuptial agreements lawyer Cameron C. Goulding to discuss your situation.


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