Should I get a Prenup?

You found the love of your life and decide you want to get married.  Before you take the plunge, think about the future. Do you buy a house or a vehicle without insurance?  Of course not.  Think of a prenup as just that – an insurance policy.

Who Needs a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements aren’t just for the rich and famous.  This legal document can save you thousands and thousands of dollars down the road, and more importantly, protect your children from the pains of a bitter divorce.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cites a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, show a 63 % increase in prenups over the last three years. See http://www.wsj.com/articles/is-a-prenuptial-agreement-a-must-for-most-couples-1425271056

What Does a Prenup Cover?

A prenup can identify what debt or property will be shared in a marriage, amount of alimony a spouse may receive, how the children are to be raised (including which religion will be followed), how to settle future disputes, inheritance, and property reserved for children from a prior marriage.

Is My Prenup Valid?

Utah courts have applied general contract principles when interpreting prenuptial agreements.  See Berman v. Berman, 749 P.2d (Utah Ct. ApAn agreement is valid so long as there is no fraud, coercion, or material nondisclosure.  See Huck v. Huck, 734 p.2d (Utah 1986).  Generally, a valid premarital agreement:

  1. Must be in writing and signed by both parties prior to marriage;
  2. Must be voluntary ;
  3. Must have reasonable disclosure of property, assets, and financial obligations.

Can I Fight a Prenup?

When a prenuptial agreement is in dispute, the courts will look at the documents and construe the intentions of the parties based on the language used.  If the agreement is unambiguous, the court will look at the extenuating circumstances, such as the time the agreement was signed prior to the nuptials, and whether the agreement is consciousable or against public policy. With that being said, the devil is in the details. You should consult an attorney in order to protect your assets, and most importantly, your children’s future.

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