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Some couples may choose to enter into a pre- or postnuptial agreement to protect themselves from losing money or assets in the event of a separation or divorce. Our Bellevue family law attorneys are here to offer the support you need to navigate this complicated process. Call (509) 327-0777 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation today. We have helped our clients throughout the years with cases regarding Bellevue divorce, military divorce, Bellevue child support, child custody, and more
A prenuptial agreement, often called a prenup, is a contract between two people created and signed before marriage. It will typically include provisions for spousal support, the characterization of property (what is separate and what is shared), and the division and distribution of property upon divorce or death. The contract becomes enforceable once the couple is legally married.
A postnuptial agreement is identical to a prenuptial agreement in terms of the provisions it can address but is created after the couple is already married. Both pre- and postnuptial agreements cannot legally determine child support or custody. In those matters, the court will always base its ruling on what is in the child’s best interests or according to the state’s support guidelines.
Pre- and postnuptial agreements are not romantic. However, if a divorce or death unfortunately occurs, a mutually agreed upon contract can simplify the divorce process and may override the state’s inheritance laws in some cases. Other benefits include:
Many marriages dissolve over finances. The process of drafting a prenup encourages full disclosure and financial transparency between the parties. As a result, they can get on the same page regarding finances.
In a pre- or postnuptial agreement, you have the option to keep certain debts separate. Therefore, in a divorce, you will not have to take on half of your spouse’s debt that was brought into the marriage.
If either spouse has children from a prior marriage, a pre- or postnuptial agreement can include provisions to ensure they are left with a portion of their biological parent’s estate.
Most courts tend to uphold pre- and postnuptial agreements as long as they are in writing, carefully prepared, signed without coercion, involve a full disclosure of financial information on both sides and are not one-sided. Prenuptial agreements should also be executed at least 30 to 60 days prior to marriage.
If either party to a divorce does not agree with the contract, believes it is unfair, or states it was signed under duress, the agreement may not be binding in court. As a result, both parties should have independent legal counsel when it is drafted to ensure the agreement remains legally enforceable.
Discuss your circumstances with a highly experienced Pre- & Postnuptial Agreement Attorney in Bellevue. We can advise you on the best course of action for protecting your assets.