How is a Prenup Enforced in an Arizona Divorce?
A premarital agreement or a prenup is a document that two people sign prior to getting married. It can be used to agree on asset allocation and property division during the marriage and in the case of a divorce, the property interests of children, spousal support obligations, inheritance and many other issues. So, how is a prenup enforced in Arizona?
Prenups that meet all legal requirements are enforceable in Arizona. Here’s a bit more about the legal framework and the things to expect during the divorce process.
The Legal Framework
The manner in which a premarital agreement is enforced after being signed by two people is highlighted in Arizona Revised Statutes 25-201 through 25-205.
According to the section, a premarital agreement is defined as a legal contract made between two prospective spouses that becomes effective as soon as the two get married. The section also provides detailed information about all issues and financial affairs that the two parties may sign the contract on.
As long as a prenup is written and signed by both parties, it becomes enforceable without consideration. The enforcement starts as soon as the two prospective spouses get married.
Only a few exceptions exist to the enforcement provision. The most important ones are the following:
- One of the partners did not sign the prenup voluntarily
- One of the spouses was not provided with fair and accurate information about the assets and the financial situation of the other
- One of the spouses didn’t have adequate knowledge of the other party’s financial obligations
- The agreement is unconscionable (unfair to one of the parties involved)
Getting Divorced with a Prenup
The entire purpose of the prenup is to simplify the divorce process. This document is customized, which means that it contains as few or as many provisions as the spouses want it to feature.
Say one of the spouses is an avid collector who’s worried about preserving the integrity of their collection (for example, rare coins) after the dissolution of a marriage. A provision about the collection can be included in the premarital agreement, making sure that the entire set is left to one of the spouses.
Terms about spousal maintenance after a divorce could also be entered legally in the document. This way, getting a divorce will take less time and there aren’t going to be fierce court battles.
Without a prenup, property will be distributed after a divorce following Arizona laws. In such instances, disputes may arise and the court battle could drag on for a prolonged period of time.
Issues a Prenup cannot Address
While many aspects of getting a divorce will be examined in detail in the prenup, there are certain issues that can’t be addressed this way.
A prenup, for example, is not the document that can determine a custodial arrangement pertaining to the children. This decision will usually be made in court on the basis of the children’s best interest.
Matters of financial support pertaining to the children are also not the subject of premarital agreements. Since every child deserves support and enjoying the standard that their parents have, a prenup in Arizona can’t address such financial issues.
A prenup in Arizona cannot be used to determine which spouse has the right to the marital home in the case of marriage dissolution. Personal matters like relationships with family members and their scope are also not to be defined in a prenup.
A prenup is also not a tool used for the purpose of hiding assets. As already mentioned, full disclosure of financial information should be made prior to the signing of the document. The contract is in place to protect assets, not to hide them. Withholding important information from a spouse could eventually render the contract invalid and non-enforceable in Arizona. So you now know how is a prenup enforced in Arizona, contact experienced legal team to draw a proper prenup.