Fayetteville, Arkansas Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Prenuptial agreements have a reputation for being undesirable when two individuals are considering marriage. However, the divorce rate for married couples in the United States is between 40 and 50%, and the rates for individuals who remarry are even higher. Therefore, it may be worth exploring the idea of drafting a prenuptial agreement before you get married. Contact our Fayetteville prenuptial agreement attorneys today to learn more about singing a prenup in Arkansas.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP our divorce attorneys are experienced in several areas of family law. We understand that it may be difficult to speak with your spouse about a prenuptial agreement, but it may benefit both of you. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys, contact us at (479) 439-9840.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract that is prepared before two individuals are married. The purpose of the contract is to protect the assets of each spouse in the event of a divorce. The legal document is used to set boundaries regarding assets, property, and even the payment of alimony.
Prenuptial agreements can cover a variety of marital issues:
- The right to use, own, or sell property that each spouse has access to
- The right to retain pre-marital property after a divorce
- Determining responsibility for debt accumulated during the marriage
- The rights to a life insurance policy
- The choice of law that will govern the prenuptial agreement (e.g., the laws of another state)
A prenuptial agreement can also cover non-marital issues as long as the contract does not require actions that are illegal under Arkansas law. For example, a prenuptial agreement cannot be used to regulate the limits of child support or to address issues regarding child custody as these are off-limits under Arkansas law.
Some people believe that prenuptial agreements are primarily used by wealthy individuals to protect a plethora of assets they do not want to divide or lose during a divorce. However, there are many uses for prenuptial agreements that can serve couples who do not possess immense wealth. The following is a list of common uses for prenuptial agreements:
- You own or possess an interest in a pre-marital business
- You and your spouse have different income levels
- You have children from a previous marriage and want to keep their future inheritance separate from your spouse’s assets
If you need to know more about prenuptial agreements in Arkansas, you should speak with an experienced Fayetteville family lawyer.
How to Create a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
If you and your spouse elect to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married, you should ensure that the agreement is valid. Prenuptial agreements are enforceable once you are married unless the document was not executed correctly.
To create a valid prenuptial agreement in Arkansas, you and your spouse must:
- Sign the prenuptial agreement knowingly and voluntarily
- Ensure that each spouse understands the terms of the agreement completely (e.g., the distribution of property or life insurance)
- Ensure the agreement was not “unconscionable” when it was negotiated, meaning one spouse had overwhelming bargaining power
- Receive full disclosure of each party’s assets and debts
- Consult with a lawyer and expressly and voluntarily waive, in writing, the right to any further disclosure of the other spouse’s financial situation other than the disclosure already provided
If a spouse is dishonest regarding the assets that they own, the prenuptial agreement is not valid. Additionally, if a provision of the agreement does not provide adequate alimony payments and one spouse requires public assistance to meet basic needs, a court will not enforce the agreement.
After a prenuptial agreement has been executed and a couple has wed, events may occur that will cause the spouses to rethink their initial agreement. Fortunately, a prenuptial agreement can be amended or revoked after you have been married. This is often done by creating a “postnuptial” agreement.
An agreement can be amended or revoked only if both spouses sign a written agreement to alter the terms of the original agreement. An amended or revoked prenuptial agreement does not require consideration to be enforceable, meaning that the spouses do not exchange anything to change the agreement.
These are only some issues that can be controlled with a prenuptial agreement. There are many other variables to consider when executing a prenuptial agreement.
Our Fayetteville Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers Are Ready to Represent You
If you need assistance drafting a valid prenuptial agreement, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville prenuptial agreement lawyer. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP our lawyers can assist you with making the prenuptial agreement process as smooth as possible. Our lawyers understand that prenuptial agreements can be a sensitive topic and we are here for you. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss a prenuptial agreement, reach us at (479) 439-9840, or contact us online.