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Prenuptial agreements in Arizona: What to know

No one walks into a marriage with divorce as their goal, but it happens frequently in the United States.

Depending on your circumstances, signing a prenuptial agreement may be wise for you and your spouse.

What a prenuptial agreement can do in Arizona

Arizona is a community property state. This means that divorcing couples must split all assets and property equally. Prenuptial agreements override state law and enable couples to designate their income, liabilities and assets as separate from the communal property.

In Arizona, both spouses may waive their spousal support rights in a prenuptial agreement. The document outlines the amount one party receives and the other pays if a divorce occurs.

Marrying couples can also dictate spousal inheritance rights in these documents. Most often the parties create a will while they are planning the prenup. In the absence of a specific agreement, spouses inherit 50% of the deceased’s property in Arizona.

What a prenuptial agreement cannot do in Arizona

Since parents are legally obligated to support minor children, prenups cannot limit child support. Courts determine child support based on the best interests of the minor. Using Arizona child support guidelines, the court calculates the amount a parent pays.

Further, a prenuptial agreement in Arizona cannot penalize either spouse for adultery or enable either party to hide assets. Both parties must disclose all assets when drafting the document for it to be legally binding.

Though thinking of divorce during an engagement is not the most romantic topic, it is wise and even necessary for some couples.