Prenuptial Agreements

What to do when this is your second marrage and you have children from your first

A prenuptial agreement is technically known as an antenuptial agreement. It is intended to protect children from a prior marriage, as well as property. Antenuptial agreements are recognized by the State of Michigan. In order for an antenuptial agreement to be valid, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The agreement must be in writing;
  2. It must be voluntarily entered into without any fraud, mistake or duress;
  3. Each party must be represented by a separate, independent attorney;
  4. The obligation, rights and alternatives must be explained to each party;
  5. There must be a full and fair accounting and complete disclosure of each party’s assets, liabilities and income;
  6. The agreement is to be fair and not unconscionable when signed.

Other Issues

Other issues need to be addressed as well, such as how to deal with existing assets. In some instances, one party might have a great deal of property and the other very little. Other issues include how the parties are to share obligations and living expenses and whether or not property acquired during the marriage will be separate or joint. In the event of divorce or death, what portion, if any, of the wealthier person’s property will go to his or her spouse? Should property interests and cost of living be increased as the length of the marriage increases? Also, how should inheritances received during the marriage be handled?

When considering a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement, it is important to seek professional guidance from an attorney specializing in family law to ensure fairness to both individuals and to ensure that it complies with the law.