Other Family Issues

questions & answers

Question: What does a prenup protect you from and what is the best way to obtain a prenup?

Answer:

Question #1:

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into before marriage, in contemplation of marriage.   Prenuptial agreements commonly:

  • identify each party's current assets and debts; (as of the date of the prenuptial agreement);
  • provide for:
    • how assets/debts brought into the marriage will be treated by the parties after they are married (i.e. will they be kept separate);
    • the rights/obligations of the parties regarding those assets/debts brought into the marriage;
    • how assets/debts acquired after the marriage will be treated by the parties; and;
    • the rights/obligations of the parties with respect to the property/debts (whether acquired before or after the marriage)  in the event of a divorce;
  • address the rights of the parties regarding spousal support (aka alimony) in the event of a divorce.
  • address how income earned after the marriage will be treated by the parties. (Arizona is a community property state.  The law presumes that each spouse has an undivided one half interest in any property acquired or income earned after the the date of marriage.  Therefore, if the parties wish to keep their respective earnings separate they can do so through a prenuptial agreement).

For additional information, review the following Arizona Revised Statutes:

Arizona Uniform Premarital Agreement Act:

25-201

Definitions

25-202

Enforcement of premarital agreements; exception

25-203

Scope of agreement

25-204

Amendment or revocation of agreement

25-205

Limitation of actions

Property Rights and Contract Powers (During Marriage)

25-211

Property acquired during marriage as community property; exceptions

25-213

Separate property

25-214

Management and control

25-215

Liability of community property and separate property for community and separate debts

25-217

Ownership of property acquired after moving into state

25-218

Surrogate parentage contracts; prohibition; custody; definition

Question #2:

You should hire an attorney to prepare a prenuptial agreement.  There are legal requirements that need to be satisfied to ensure that a prenuptial agreement is enforceable (and will "hold up" in court).

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