Many couples enter into marriage fully confident that their financial interests are protected through a prenuptial agreement. Of course, if you get it right, this legal agreement can help resolve the subject of marital property identification and division during divorce.
However, not every prenuptial agreement is worth its salt. For this reason, it is important that you understand what makes a prenuptial agreement valid, or invalid.
Understanding prenuptial agreements
Basically, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup as it is commonly known, is a legal contract that soon-to-marry couples sign (at least, in part) to separate personal property from marital property should the marriage end in a divorce.
A prenup is especially helpful under a given set of circumstances such as when one party is coming into the marriage with substantial assets or debts, if they have children from a previous relationship or if they are expecting a substantial inheritance.
However, for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and, thus, enforceable, it must meet the following requirements:
- It must be made in writing. A verbal prenuptial agreement cannot be enforced by an Arkansas divorce court
- Both parties must voluntarily sign the agreement. One party cannot trick or coerce their soon-to-be spouse into signing a prenup
- Both parties must fully disclose what they own and owe while signing the document
- The prenup must not contain unconscionable terms. In other words, it cannot appear to be unfair or severely disadvantageous to one party
- Both parties must sign the document, and it is best if they do so in the presence of their legal representative.
Planning your wedding is important. But so is planning for life’s uncertainties. With a valid prenuptial agreement in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your financial interests will be protected should the marriage end in a divorce.