You must have heard of the term prenup on social media and in TV shows and movies. But do you know what it means?
We all can join hands on the fact that marriage is a tremendous emotional experience, but it is also a significant financial event. Getting married means you now have to share your cash, belongings and life savings with your better half. But what if your relationship with your significant other doesn’t remain the same? You need security to make property division easier if your marriage ends in a divorce!
However, out of the 34,011 couples that get married each year in Arizona, only 5% to 10% sign prenuptial agreements. The primary reason is that the people of Arizona don’t think that their marriage could fail. But the American Psychological Association has published a report stating that approximately 40 to 50 percent of married people in the United States divorce. Considering this report and the fact that the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is subject to increase further, signing a prenup is becoming more critical than ever.
This post covers the role, purpose and benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement in Arizona. We will also discuss the role of a family lawyer in creating a prenuptial agreement, so make sure you stay with us till the end!
A prenuptial agreement in Arizona is, like in every other part of the world, a contract between future spouses that specifies their legal and financial rights upon marriage and future decisions regarding those rights in case of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement is made in advance of marriage and becomes effective when the couple marries. It also goes by the names premarital agreement, antenuptial agreement, and prenup.
A prenuptial agreement aims to establish the parties’ financial rights and obligations during and after their marriage. If, in case, the couple files for divorce, prenuptial agreements specify which spouse receives which property and assets.
Arizona is one of the nine “community property states” in the United States of America. This means that all the property that either spouse acquires during the marriage is community property. However, those couples who have a statutory exception, like a prenuptial agreement, are exempted from this rule.
Additionally, prenuptial agreements also address the death of a spouse. Listed below are some applications of Arizona prenuptial agreements:
You can identify assets acquired before your marriage and state what you wish to do with them. For example, you might want to give them to children from a prior relationship. Maybe you’re passionate about a charity and wish to donate those assets to them.
You can cover various finance-related topics, such as which party is responsible for particular obligations, which percentage of the funds belongs to the person and which will be split equally by the couple.
A prenuptial agreement can specify who will manage financial records and assets.
An Arizona prenuptial agreement can allow a spouse to relinquish their rights to your retirement plan and choose a new beneficiary.
It is ideal for couples with significant age or income gap.
If the couple hasn’t signed a prenup, the court will have control over their estate accumulated during the marriage. Likewise, Arizona treats savings in retirement accounts as community property. The same would apply to any debt accrued and other assets acquired during the marriage.
In Arizona, however, if the couples establish a prenuptial agreement, they can specify what is deemed communal property and what is to be regarded as individual and private property. While prenuptial agreements are often connected with negative emotions like mistrust and lack of faith in a marriage, you can also view them positively. Because a prenuptial agreement can outline the rights and responsibilities of the spouses both throughout the marriage and in the case of a divorce, it is an excellent tool in safeguarding your hard-earned immobile assets.
If you don’t sign a prenup, the Arizona laws will dictate who owns the assets you acquire during your marriage. Likewise, the court will declare what happens to it if you divorce or die.
The law considers marriage as a social agreement between the marrying couple, and that contract confers on each spouse some automatic property rights. If a couple doesn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, a spouse typically has the right to:
If these regulations — known as marital property, divorce, and probate laws — don’t suit you, it’s time to consider a prenuptial agreement!
Just because a considerable proportion of marriages end up in a divorce doesn’t mean you raise the point of preparing one for yourself and your future spouse. Likewise, prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy, contrary to popular belief. It would be best for you to sign a prenuptial agreement with your partner in Arizona if:
While prenuptial agreements are commonly used to preserve the assets of a wealthy fiancé, people who don’t own mansions are also signing a prenuptial contract. Middle-class people usually prepare a prenup for the following reasons:
To Pass their Property to Children from Previous Marriage
A married couple can sign a prenup to specify which assets would go to the children from their previous marriage. This allows both parties to leave separate possessions to their children while still providing for each other in case of divorce or death. Without a prenuptial agreement, a surviving spouse will be entitled to most of the other spouse’s assets, leaving much less for the children.
To Gracefully Exit their Marriage
Alternatively, they may want to prevent potential complications if they ever divorce by discussing how they will share their assets and whether either spouse would receive alimony in advance. However, the spousal maintenance law of Arizona states that you don’t need to pay alimony to your ex-spouse if they are capable of fulfilling their needs without financial assistance.
To Obtain Debt Protection
Prenuptial agreements are an excellent tool to protect couples from each other’s debts and various other difficulties.
However, just because you fall in these categories doesn’t make your prenup valid in Arizona. Then what does, you ask? Hop on to the next portion to find out!
In Arizona, a prenuptial agreement that has been appropriately prepared and executed is lawful and enforceable. The provisions of the prenuptial agreement itself and the method used in the creation and execution of signatures on any prenuptial agreements in Arizona are the two critical parts of making a prenuptial agreement that a judge will enforce.
Firstly, a prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties to be valid and enforceable. However, there are other considerations that could influence the legitimacy of a prenuptial agreement in Arizona, such as:
A judge can throw out a prenuptial agreement if it is done wrongly, making it unenforceable. To make sure the court doesn’t declare your prenup invalid, it is best to have your contract reviewed by an expert attorney before signing it.
While prenuptial agreements are permanent by definition, feelings change over time, and you may find that a prenuptial agreement is no longer necessary later in your marriage. If you or your spouse decides that you no longer want a prenuptial agreement, you can revoke the conditions of the agreement through a signed document containing your signature and your spouse’s written agreement.
You can also include a “sunset clause” in your prenuptial agreement, which specifies when the paper will expire. This expiry time frame can range from 2 to 30 years.
At Jensen Family Law, we are frequently involved in the drafting and negotiating of a prenuptial agreement. Here is the role an Arizona prenup attorney plays in making sure your prenup is considered valid by the court of law:
By hiring an Arizona prenup lawyer, you will benefit from their experience in the field. You can prepare and sign a prenuptial agreement without the help of an attorney. However, like with anything else, having experience on your side pays off.
Unless you have someone present who has helped other people negotiate a prenuptial agreement, you won’t know if you cover all of your bases. Even if you and your fiancé have excellent intentions and a basic understanding of family law, you may overlook certain essential stages along the path.
2. Negotiating Long-Term Aspects of your Marriage
Arizona prenup attorneys can assist you in identifying specific areas of your marriage that may be troublesome and lead to divorce. In situations like these, an attorney can aid you in negotiating conditions that will help you if a divorce is required.
An Arizona prenuptial agreement lawyer will not want to cause a conflict during these discussions, so they will assist you in drafting the agreement once after thoroughly negotiating with both parties.
3. An Argument-Free Divorce
Although it might seem like you and your future spouse have excellent compatibility, it doesn’t mean that your financial interests are the same. This could lead to heated arguments when discussing the distribution of assets and liabilities at the time of divorce. Thus, it would be best if you appointed a counsel to represent you while signing your prenuptial agreement.
4. Decide your Asset Distribution Ratio Yourself
One of the best aspects of premarital agreement talks is that you and your spouse can bypass Arizona community property laws and create your circumstances for distributing the marital estate in a divorce.
When negotiating on these topics, you and your fiancé may come from different perspectives and have different stakes at stake, depending on your circumstances. As a result, an Arizona prenup attorney would be unable to represent either of your interests in discussions appropriately.
In other words, hiring an Arizona prenuptial agreement lawyer will give you the flexibility of altering the Arizona Community Property Laws and Arizona Spousal Maintenance Laws.
5. Draft a Valid Prenup
When finalizing your divorce, the last thing you want is to step into court to find that your prenuptial agreement is invalid or unenforceable. For instance, the contract will not be enforced in the future if the contents are unclear, the provisions are unconscionable, or if it is proven that one party was compelled to negotiate or sign under duress.
However, if both parties have access to an attorney during talks, there is a strong likelihood that a court will uphold the agreement in the future.
A prenuptial agreement can save the divorcing couple stress, disputes, and thousands of dollars in the case of divorce, which is statistically the reality for roughly half of all marriages in America. A valid prenuptial agreement will consider both partners’ needs and ensure that both are met if the relationship ends for any reason.
Our suggestion is to find a sympathetic and understanding Arizona prenup attorney that can guide you through the process, explain the purpose of a prenuptial agreement, and assist you in reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Our team of family law attorneys and divorce attorneys look forward to helping you when you need it most. With over two decades of aggressive divorce, child custody, child support, and divorce mediation representation we will not allow you to be taken advantage of. We believe in making a difference in the lives of our clients and their children.
Located in Mesa Arizona, on Val Vista and Southern Avenue. Our Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers in Mesa AZ have been helping our clients achieve the legal results they are searching for. Our Mesa Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located On Dobson Road, just North of W. Chandler Blvd, near the 101 Freeway. We have a team of the Best Divorce Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys in Chandler Arizona. Our Chandler Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in South East Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in the Community of Anthem in Florence Arizona, off of Hunt Hwy. Our Florence Law Firm is staffed with family law attorneys that offer Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in Glendale. Our Glendale Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.
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For additional questions you can call us at (480) 999-2321 or you can find us on Yelp.