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Prenuptial Agreements

Let a Grand Rapids Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Manage Your Prenup or Postnuptial Agreement 

Prenuptial agreements are valuable legal tools that often do not get discussed until it is too late. After all, who wants to talk with their spouse-to-be about how an upcoming marriage could end in divorce? Still, these binding contracts can instill confidence in a marriage by allowing both spouses to start the union with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their futures are protected.

Prenups are designed to resolve questions like how property will be divided or whether one spouse will get alimony in the event of a divorce. Importantly, they can also be used to establish a plan for handling assets and property in the event of one spouse’s death or incapacitation.

Kraayeveld Law is a Michigan family law firm whose attorneys help people and families navigate a wide range of issues, from drafting a prenuptial agreement to securing a divorce, negotiating a parenting plan and calculating alimony and child support. We are seasoned lawyers with decades of combined experience serving our neighbors across the state.

A Grand Rapids prenuptial agreement attorney at our firm can help anyone interested in creating a prenuptial agreement. We also advise clients who have been asked to sign an agreement or are looking to alter the contract’s terms after a divorce.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Works in  Michigan

In a prenuptial agreement, a couple preparing to marry agrees ahead of time about what will happen with property and other assets if they later divorce. They may also decide whether one person will pay the other spousal support if they go their separate ways.

Some of the most common issues resolved through a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Who gets the family home
  • The division of pension benefits, retirement savings and investment accounts
  • Family business issues
  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Alimony (how much and how long)

Here is why that matters: Without a prenuptial agreement, these and other issues may be left to a judge to decide. Prenups are particularly important for people who come to a marriage with significant assets or a business, as well as for those who have decided to put a career to the side during a long-term marriage to raise children and otherwise support the family. Often, spouses who have been previously married benefit from a prenuptial agreement when they want to safeguard their assets for their children from their first marriage.

Income and property obtained by one spouse before marriage is generally considered separate under Michigan law, which means that the spouse takes the property with him or her in the event of divorce. It may become shared marital property – subject to a split among the spouses – if used to benefit both spouses.

When one spouse puts his or her career on hold to support the other spouse’s career or take on other family responsibilities, this can impact how assets are divided in a divorce and how much alimony the working spouse has to pay to the other spouse. It often justifies giving the non-working spouse a more significant piece of the assets or lengthier and larger alimony payments, depending on the circumstances.

It is critical to understand some of these family law basics before entering into a prenuptual agreement. A Grand Rapids prenuptial agreement lawyer at Kraayeveld Law can provide essential advice and other assistance to help you understand your options and protect your rights.

Our Grand Rapids Prenup Lawyer Can Help You Understand Prenuptial Agreement Requirements and Enforcement Options

Because a prenup is a legal contract, specific requirements must be met for it to be legally binding.

In Michigan, a prenuptial agreement must meet minimum standards for fairness and equity among the spouses as well as reasonableness under the circumstances. Examples of these minimum standards showing that the agreement was fair is a requirement that both spouses fully share information about their assets and finances before the deal  is signed   Another example of establishing fairness is a requirement that both spouses must have an attorney review the agreement

Other requirements for prenups include:

  • Both spouses must be competent; or able to understand what they are getting themselves into at the time
  • An agreement cannot be obtained by force, coercion or fraud
  • The spouses must sign the agreement before they are married.

A Grand Rapids prenuptial agreement lawyer at our firm can help you understand your rights and options. We can also ensure that an agreement is drafted to reflect you and your spouse’s wishes in a way that is legally enforceable.

Postnuptial Agreements in Michigan

People who get married in Michigan without a prenup may still be able to plan for some of life’s possibilities by using a postnuptial agreement.

These contracts, as the name suggests, are signed after a couple marries. Although their legal enforceability is not entirely as straightforward as that of prenups, they can serve as valuable tools.

A person may want to explore a postnup in situations where one or both spouses gain significant assets after their marriage. An agreement may also be helpful where one spouse has acquired a sizeable inheritance or incurred substantial debt.

How a Grand Rapids Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Can Help

If you are getting married and considering a prenuptial agreement or looking to navigate a wide range of other family law issues, Kraayeveld Law can help.

Our firm has been representing people and families across Michigan for more than three decades. We are seasoned Grand Rapids prenup attorneys who focus specifically on family law, including issues like divorce, property division, alimony, child custody and child support.

We have been incredibly successful in resolving many of these matters without long and drawn-out court battles. Although not possible in every case, we find that there is often an opportunity to reach a mutually agreeable resolution between spouses and/or parents that can help save some of the stress that comes with fighting everything out in front of a judge.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids prenuptial agreement lawyer about your situation.