Bo Schimers: Prenuptial Agreements, Family and Divorce Attorney
As a Michigan Family Law Attorney with over 25 years of experience, our law office has the knowledge and experience to give you the confidence to navigate the legal waters. We are too familiar with the hardship that divorce and separation can cause on people and most important children. Call now for your free phone consultation:(734) 282-0200.
Legal Opinion: Prenuptial Agreements Should Be Two Attorneys
The conversation of prenuptial agreements is a contentious conversation. One person being represented and not the other can turn contentious into outright tragedy. The law considers marriage a contract between two people. A prenuptial agreement, also called a premarital agreement allows a couple to set the terms of property rights for their marriage.
Why Hire an Attorney for Prenuptial Agreements
How to Disperse Property Upon an Unfortunate Death
Under state laws, each spouse receives automatic property rights unless a legally enforceable agreement states otherwise. For example, spouses share ownership of some property acquired during the marriage and both have the right to manage and control the property. If one spouse dies or the parties divorce, state law dictates the disposition of the property. If the parties wish to divide the property differently, it is necessary to create a prenup. Here are some common reasons for making a prenup:
- Keep Finances Separate: Some kinds of property acquired during marriage automatically become part of the community or marital estate. A prenuptial agreement can define whether an asset is the separate property of one spouse or whether the asset is part of the marital estate.
- Provide for Children from Prior Relationships: A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the children from previous relationships inherit certain property from a deceased parent.
- Establishing the Property Rights in the Event of a Divorce: In divorce, state law will determine how to divide certain property acquired during marriage if a prenuptial agreement does not exist.
- Defining Financial Responsibilities During Marriage: A couple can use a prenuptial agreement as a foundation to make financial decisions. Some examples include; 1) whether to open joint accounts or 2) whether an estate plan will include a surviving spouse as a beneficiary.
Why Hire a Lawyer When Making a Prenup
To avoid a court from declaring a prenup invalid, it is advisable to hire two lawyers to represent the interests of both parties. While neither party is required to have legal representation, courts are cautious about enforcing a prenuptial agreement signed by a party that did not have independent legal representation. In this situation, especially if the prenup seems unfair to the party without legal representation, a court may invalidate the prenuptial agreement.