Does the mention of a prenuptial agreement make you squirm? What you may not realize is that, through statutes, case law and more, the state of Arizona has a written prenuptial agreement already prepared for every couple who gets married. You have the opportunity to tailor that agreement to fit your requirements and protect your interests in your own, unique contract.
Signing a prenup does not mean you are planning for divorce. You can compare it to car insurance that you have for the unfortunate event of an accident, not because you plan to crash your car. It may not be romantic, but a prenuptial agreement can protect you from losses if your marriage ends -- by either divorce or in the unfortunate event of your spouse's death.
What can a prenuptial agreement do for you?
Although you often hear of prenups being associated with many celebrity divorces, they can benefit any couple. A prenuptial agreement gives you the ability to protect any personal assets you may be bringing into your marriage. Furthermore, if you have an existing business or you are in the process of starting a business, such an agreement can provide specific protection for your business assets.
Are you prepared for full disclosure?
Both parties must fully disclose their assets for a prenuptial agreement to be valid. The court may reject an agreement if it discovers any withholding of information. Financial data provided will have to cover the following and more:
- IRS returns
- Real Estate information
- Bank accounts
- Security accounts
- Vehicle information
- Outstanding loans
If either one of you has a business, the financial statements needed could become even more complex. Experienced legal counsel could prove invaluable to you during this process by making sure the court receives all necessary information.
How will you handle debt and family finances?
Marriage is a partnership, and a prenuptial agreement can serve to determine how you will split your debts in the event of a divorce. It will help if the two of you can specify who will make financial decisions and who will be responsible for paying bills. Discussing your financial goals for the long term will provide insight that may serve you well.
Do you have children?
There may be children involved in your marriage, and thus a clause in your prenup can protect certain assets for them. If you plan to have children, you can modify your prenuptial agreement whenever you do decide to start a family in order to address those issues as well.
When drafting a prenuptial agreement, you must meet certain legal requirements. With the guidance and support of experienced family law attorneys, you can ensure these requirements are met and that your future best interests are protected.