Experienced Scottsdale Attorney Helps You Draft a Solid Prenuptial Agreement
Protecting your assets now in the event of a divorce later
Protecting your assets in the event your marriage breaks up is a wise decision. This is especially true if you have accumulated substantial property, or if you’re entering a second marriage and want to secure an inheritance for the children of your first marriage. Scottsdale family law attorney Mark Cord draws on more than 40 years of legal experience to negotiate, draft and review prenuptial agreements for clients contemplating marriage throughout Arizona.
The basics of a prenuptial agreement in Arizona
A prenuptial agreement is a contract drafted for two people who intend to marry. The parties sign the agreement before the marriage, and it becomes effective after the couple weds. Prenups generally deal with the following matters:
- Right to make decisions about assets and debt during the marriage
- Property division in the event of divorce
- Allocation of retirement and pension distributions in the event of divorce
- Spousal maintenance in the event of divorce
A prenup cannot eliminate spousal maintenance if doing so would make a spouse dependent on public assistance. A prenup can address child custody, provided the terms are not overly restrictive of a parent’s rights. However, the agreement cannot reduce child support below the level required in the state guidelines.
To be valid, the law requires a prenup to be:
- An agreement in writing
- Signed voluntarily by both parties
- Signed following fair and reasonable disclosure of property and financial obligations
Evidence of coercion, emotional blackmail, misrepresentation, or unequal bargaining power can invalidate an agreement, especially if the terms are grossly unfair. To ensure your prenup will be valid, you should begin negotiations well in advance of the wedding, and each party should have independent legal counsel.
Reasons to establish a sound premarital agreement
Many people think of prenups as solely the domain of the rich, but a sound prenuptial agreement is beneficial for all couples, no matter their income, for a variety of reasons:
- It offers financial security — If one spouse brings substantially more wealth to the marriage, a solid prenup can protect that person’s assets.
- It saves time, money and stress in the future — If divorce comes, a prenuptial agreement resolves the important terms that divorcing parties must agree on, facilitating the process.
- It protects children from a previous marriage — If you should die unexpectedly, a prenup can secure the inheritance rights of your children from a first marriage.
- It allows business owners to protect their brand — If you have a closely-held business, a prenup can include a nondisclosure agreement to protect the company’s brand, trade secrets, and private financial information.
Mark Cord advises couples about to wed on the benefits of these agreements and also handles postnuptial agreements for spouses who wish to secure their financial future.
Contact a thorough Scottsdale family law attorney for a free consultation on prenuptial agreements
Scottsdale family law attorney Mark Cord helps clients secure their assets with validly executed prenuptial agreements. Call Mark at 480-994-0345 or contact his firm online to schedule a free consultation today.