6 Things to Include in Your Arizona Premarital Agreement
A prenuptial (premarital) agreement, known as a prenup, offers you and your future spouse some protections in the event of divorce. Your family law attorney in Arizona can customize the prenup to address the specifics of your situation. Still, it’s important to know what you can and cannot include in the legally-binding document.
What a Prenup Cannot Include
Before moving on to important elements to feature in a prenup, here are a few of the things that cannot be included in the agreement:
- Child custody arrangements
- Child support arrangements
- Lifestyle clauses (like an infidelity clause, for example)
- Forfeiture of alimony rights
- Domestic affairs (dealing with relatives and how often to have them offer is something you cannot feature in a prenup)
Now that you know which aspects of the relationship cannot be regulated via a prenup, let’s move on to the ones that can be.
How will marital property be divided in the event of a divorce? This is one of the most crucial issues Arizona couples address through their premarital agreement.
If marital property division isn’t outlined in an agreement, the court will follow Arizona laws to determine how assets will be distributed. Since Arizona is a community property state, everything acquired over the course of the marriage will be divided equally between the spouses.
Gifts between Spouses
Items that have been gifted by one spouse to the other could become very controversial in divorce proceedings (especially when it comes to family heirlooms or very expensive items).
To avoid lengthy legal battles, feature a clause in the prenup that defines how gifts are going to be handled after the divorce.
Usually, prenups state that any gift received during the marriage remains under the ownership of the recipient.
Debt Allocation and Separation
Community property states like Arizona also view debt as a joint affair. A prenup can ensure separation of debt and its proper allocation after the divorce.
Full disclosure is also important. Both parties should be aware of the other’s loans and debt before entering into the marriage. Usually, such information is featured alongside the prenup to make sure full disclosure has occurred in advance.
Family Saving and Investing Strategies
A premarital agreement doesn’t have to deal solely with the distribution and the separation of assets after a divorce. It can also provide some important guidelines in terms of handling financial affairs during the marriage.
Saving and spending strategies are often outlined in prenups. These are based on the couple’s future financial plans and the amount they want to save or invest by a specific timeframe.
Management of Household Expenses
Good prenups outline financial obligations and how these are going to be handled over the course of the marriage.
Who will be responsible for paying the bills? How much should either spouse contribute to the family budget? You can have such clauses featured in your Arizona prenup to ensure financial stability.
Family heirlooms, inheritances, business shares, etc. can be protected via a prenuptial agreement.
The aim of this prenup clause is to keep the property within the immediate family in the event of a divorce. In such instances, the property will not be passed on to someone’s spouse, regardless of the Arizona community property laws.
These are just a few of the things that a prenup can specify.
You can also feature clauses protecting children from a previous marriage, estate planning, how disputes will be handled, pet alimony and how sentimental items like one’s wedding ring will be handled.
If you have an even more specific clause in mind, talk to your Arizona family law attorney. A legal professional will give you a more thorough idea about what can be protected via a prenup and what clauses aren’t possible under Arizona law.
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