The Preparation is Key
No one enters marriage expecting to get divorced, but that does not mean you shouldn’t think about what would happen if that were to occur. In Arizona, “pre and post nups” are actual Premarital and Postmarital agreements. Premarital and Postmarital agreements provide surety in the event of a divorce. They can help you protect family legacies, inheritances for your children and your future income and retirement. They can also significantly impact your financial outcome in a divorce or upon the death of your spouse.
These agreements are contracts that alter the way the law would otherwise apply to your divorce. Arizona requires that both Premarital and Postmarital agreements meet very specific tests to be valid and enforceable.
A Premarital agreement is a contract entered into by you and your soon-to-be spouse prior to marriage. Arizona statutes provide a framework for drafting valid Premarital agreements. To prove a Premarital agreement should not be enforced is a very difficult task, despite rumors you may have heard to the contrary.
In contrast, Postmarital agreements are contracts that may be entered into at any time during a marriage. Unlike Premarital agreements that do not have a fairness standard, Postmarital agreements must be fair and equitable to be enforced.
When negotiating the terms of either of these contracts, couples have great latitude in crafting the agreement’s financial terms. Just like in other contracts, the terms of the agreement can be anything the two parties agree to, unless the terms are barred by law or against public policy. For instance, in Arizona a court will not be bound by terms of a Premarital or Postmarital agreement that purports to determine parenting time, child support, or designation in the future of who will pay attorneys’ fees.
No one should enter into a Premarital or Postmarital agreement without obtaining the advice of a knowledgeable attorney in advance.