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The Basics of Arizona Prenuptial Agreements

Posted On November 29, 2021 In Divorce

Prenuptial agreements are beneficial to many couples entering a marriage. These contracts establish each partner’s property rights and financial responsibilities during marriage and in the event of a divorce or death. By addressing these matters prior to marriage, future spouses can lay the foundation for a solid future.

Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

There are several situations in which partners choose to take advantage of a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can address nearly any contingency and asset or property a person has a legal interest in. Prenuptial agreements are especially valuable to those who:

  • Have significant assets;
  • Have children from previous marriages;
  • Have greater wealth than the other partner;
  • Are much older than the other partner;
  • Are business owners;
  • Have substantial debt;
  • Are retired;
  • Are supporting the other partner while that partner is obtaining a degree; or
  • Are expecting a significant inheritance.

Premarital agreements are favored by couples who marry past fifty years of age. Those who bring substantial assets to a marriage often prefer economic predictability when they choose to marry.

What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Valid and Enforceable?

A prenuptial agreement becomes valid upon marriage. To be valid and enforceable, an Arizona prenuptial agreement must be:

  • In writing;
  • Signed voluntarily by both parties; and
  • Signed following fair and reasonable disclosure of property and financial obligations (unless the disclosure was expressly waived in a signed writing).

What Invalidates a Prenuptial Agreement?

The Arizona family court can decline to uphold the provisions of a prenuptial agreement for several reasons. These include the following:

  • The prenuptial agreement was signed under duress;
  • One of the parties to the prenuptial agreement did not sign voluntarily;
  • The prenuptial agreement was grossly unfair to be unconscionable when it was executed and should be set aside. Whether the agreement was unconscionable or not is a question of law for the judge to decide;
  • Only one party had an attorney;
  • The assets and liabilities were misrepresented;
  • One party was mentally incompetent;
  • The prenuptial agreement interfered with child custody or child support; or
  • The prenuptial agreement omitted spousal support.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement Do in Arizona?

Arizona limits the scope of prenuptial agreements. Arizona prenuptial agreements can designate marital responsibilities, specify household duties and financial obligations, and dictate whether there will be children of the marriage.

The following are also permitted in prenuptial agreements in the state:

  • The rights and obligations of each spouse regarding separate or community property, whenever and wherever acquired or located;
  • The rights to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign or create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
  • The disposition of property upon separation or divorce, or when one spouse dies, or upon the occurrence of some other meaningful event;
  • The modification or elimination of spousal maintenance;
  • The creation of Last Wills and Testaments, trusts, or other legal arrangements necessary to carry out the objectives of their prenup;
  • The setting forth of ownership rights in and disposition of a death benefit under a life insurance policy; and
  • The choice of law governing construction and interpretation of the agreement’s meaning.

Speak with an Experienced Arizona Prenuptial Agreement Attorney

Do not risk having your prenuptial agreement set aside by the court. Speak with the experienced Chandler prenuptial agreement attorney at Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, before attempting to write your own prenuptial provisions.

At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our dedicated and driven to protect your legal interests prior to your marriage and in any significant life event. Call or contact our office today to schedule a confidential consultation with a legal professional.