Marriage is a contract in itself. There are inherent rights and responsibilities of married spouses under this contract. For some couples, there are additional agreements that they desire to make. These agreements can be about nearly anything, but most have to do with the division of property if the couple decides to seek a divorce later on. If you and your significant other desire to craft a marital agreement, it is wise to seek the assistance of a well-versed marital agreements attorney. Your attorney can help ensure that your agreement is properly executed and will be legally binding should it ever be needed.
Courts will only enforce marital agreements if they meet certain conditions. If you or your spouse request that the court enforces your agreement, the court will examine the agreement to determine if:
If a judge determines that one spouse was hiding assets at the time the agreement was signed or that it is entirely one-sided, they will not enforce it. When there is no enforceable marital agreement, a divorce will proceed as if there was never one to begin with.
There are several different types of marital agreements that a couple can draft and sign with the help of an experienced marital agreements lawyer. Each serves a slightly different purpose.
This contract is mutually entered into before the legal marriage takes place. It describes the types and values of property each spouse is bringing into the marriage as well as how those assets will be handled if the couple decides to divorce at some point in the future. It can also detail what will happen to property acquired during the marriage. All property must be disclosed, and each partner needs to be represented by their own attorney.
Similar to a prenuptial agreement, this contract is drafted during marriage and spells out how property will be divided upon divorce or the death of one spouse.
If you and your spouse agree to live separately and apart from each other but not get divorced, you may want to consider a separation agreement. This agreement will address how issues like spousal support, child support, child custody/visitation, and the division of property and assets will be handled during a separation period.
This agreement addresses the same issues as a separation agreement but with the intent that it is permanent. With the help of an attorney, you and your spouse could reach such an agreement and not have to go to court and ask a judge to settle your disputes. While this type of agreement must still be reviewed and accepted by the court, it is often preferable for both spouses as it gives them more control of their lives.
The attorneys at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, can help you if you need to draft an agreement, dispute an agreement, or have an agreement enforced. We offer a wide range of divorce and family law legal services for clients. Contact us to schedule your consultation with a marital agreements lawyer today.