Honest, Experienced And Personalized Family Law Service

How enforceable is your prenup?

When an Arizona couple chooses to marry, they do not go into the union planning to separate or get divorced. If you enter into the marriage with significant assets, however, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement.

Arizona law

In Arizona, there are certain things that must be included for a prenup to be enforceable under the law. First, the agreement must be in writing. A prenup must also be entered into voluntarily. In other words, you cannot be forced to sign a prenup by your future spouse or their family. Keep in mind that a prenup may be for something other than money. For example, if you own your own home or operate a business, a prenup may simply state that should you divorce, the home or business remains your separate property.

What could make your prenup unenforceable?

When you enter into a prenup, you must disclose all property and financial information that will be covered under the agreement. It is possible that your future spouse may legally waive disclosure, but that will need to be in writing as well or your prenup could be deemed unenforceable. A prenup cannot limit child support as the court retains jurisdiction over support of minor children. If the agreement includes a clause that penalizes one spouse for adultery, the courts could rule against the prenup as Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. If the agreement contains limits on spousal support, other conditions must exist. Both parties must be represented by counsel, full disclosure must be met and the limit cannot cause an “unconscionable situation.”

What can be included?

If the prenup specifies inheritance rights after death, those can be legally enforced although most couples also create a will at the same time. This occasionally happens when a couple has children from a previous marriage as Arizona law states that the spouse is automatically entitled to 50 percent of all assets. When one spouse has a significantly higher income than another, a prenup may include provisions regarding tax matters.

Although couples go into marriage believing it will last forever, divorce rates indicate that not everyone will get their happily ever after. Divorce issues can lead to animosity, anger and frustration which is why a prenup may help you avoid such problems.