To most people, the decision to enter into marriage is a decision to take the final step in their relationship and commit the rest of their lives to their significant other. However, what most fail to realize, is the serious financial change they will undergo upon acceptance of their vows. Once married, your assets, savings, and entire life's work will now be connected to another person.
Recent statistics have shown that over 50% of all first marriages will end in divorce. With the divorce rate being at an all time high, more and more couples are opting to enter into prenuptial agreements in effort to better prepare for any worst case scenarios. Although talk of a prenup is not always a fun conversation to bring up with your future spouse, it could save both parties a lot of headache in the even their relationship goes sour.
Arizona law defines a prenuptial agreement (also known as "antenuptial or premarital agreements") as "an agreement between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage." In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Once a valid prenuptial agreement is executed, it becomes effective upon the marriage of the parties.
If you live in one of the nine community property states, Arizona being one of them, then the law states that all assets, debt, and property acquired during the life of the marriage are to be divided equally, regardless of whose name is on titles, registrations or deeds. For some, the implications of this law can result in devastating financial losses. With a prenuptial agreement in place, you can better protect any assets and resources that you had prior to the marriage.
The execution of a prenuptial agreement can prevent a lot of stress of headache typically found in a divorce proceeding. This is so because many of the financial issues that are typically contested in the average divorce proceeding have already been addressed and resolved in the prenuptial agreement. As such, the divorce process is likely to be less stressful and move far more smoothly for al parties involved. Additionally, the cost of litigation is likely to be far less expensive.
Engaged couples can greatly benefit from prenuptial agreements. If you are considering entering into one, please just make sure that you seek the counsel of an experienced and respected attorney, in order to increase your chances that your prenup will hold up in court down the road, should you ever need to enforce it. With over 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Lasiter & Jackson will specifically tailor a prenuptial agreement to your exact needs and specifications. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.