When you’re engaged to be married, the last thing you want to think about is divorce. Still, it’s important to be prepared for the kinds of complications married life can throw at you. One way to help secure a better future for yourself and your soon-to-be spouse is to consider signing a prenuptial agreement. While people tend to balk at the idea of a prenup, having one can help you start your marriage on a stable, worry-free note. Here’s what our family law attorneys want you to know about prenuptial agreements.
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When should I discuss getting a prenup with my partner?
The sooner you discuss getting a prenup with your partner the better off your relationship will be in the long run. Finances are a sensitive topic, not to mention a leading cause of marital arguments and divorce. Having a serious and respectful conversation about finances can help you understand your partner’s attitudes toward money, as well as any debt or assets they may be bringing into the marriage. Knowing this information before you get married can help prevent money disputes.
Why do I need a prenup?
Having aagreement gives you peace of mind when you enter a marriage. If you have (or expect to have) significant assets, we recommend meeting with one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to discuss a prenuptial agreement. We also recommend waiting to get married or having a prenuptial agreement if your future spouse has considerable debt.
In the event you get divorced, a prenuptial agreement can help reduce conflict when it’s time to divide marital property. A prenup can help the divorce process run more smoothly, especially when both parties understand how it affects their lives post-marriage.
Can alimony be part of a prenuptial agreement?
Yes, but the Michigan courts will check if there has been a change in circumstances since the premarital agreement was signed. For example, a judge may still award alimony if you or your spouse had to give up a career to raise the children. Spousal support is also more common in cases where the marriage lasted several years.
Spousal support is considered rehabilitative because it’s supposed to temporarily help the spouse who is at a financial disadvantage after divorce. Once the recipient recovers financially or remarries, spousal support will stop. The only exception would be if the recipient’s age or health prevented them from working.
Before awarding alimony, the court will look at whether the paying spouse would be able to cover alimony and still support themselves. Unlike with spousal support, a prenup cannot specify modifications to child support.
Who can help me draft a prenup?
Once you write a prenup, we strongly recommend having it reviewed by one of our attorneys. Otherwise, the court may question the validity of the agreement and whether it meets state requirements.
Premarital agreements that are ruled as unfair to one spouse may not be upheld in court. Before signing a prenup, you should meet with your attorney to understand the full consequences of signing such a legal document.
Want to Learn More?
Our divorce law attorneys in Grand Rapids, MI are ready to help you through the divorce process. We can discuss divorce mediation, child custody and more. To request a free consultation with one of our divorce lawyers, call John Engman & Associates, P.C. at (616) 454-5222.