Protecting Separate Property Through Marital Agreements
Missouri law requires that marital wealth be divided equitably in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement overrides that presumption. Essentially, it says that each spouse retains what they brought to the marriage.
“Prenups” do not have the stigma they once did. Rather than a pessimistic view of marriage, it is a practical acknowledgement that many unions do not last forever. The family law attorneys of Law Office of Curtis M. Garner & Associates, LLC, can draft or review your marital agreement to make sure it is clear and complies with Missouri law.
When Is A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement Merited?
A prenuptial agreement defines which property belongs to each spouse (separate property). This can streamline divorce proceedings and avoid unnecessary litigation if the marriage ends. A postnuptial agreement serves the same purpose but is entered after the marriage.
Common reasons for a prenup or postnup:
- To protect a house, business or investments owned prior to marriage
- To preserve an inheritance or lawsuit settlement received by one spouse
- To isolate a business that one spouse started after the marriage
- To safeguard inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage
Premarital agreements can dictate terms of property division as well as alimony (or waiver of alimony). It cannot dictate any matters pertaining to child custody, parenting time or child support.
Do Prenups Hold Up In Court?
They are enforceable if properly created. The key is full disclosure of all assets and income and assuring that both parties understand what they are getting into and fully consent. In other words, the resulting divorce settlement can be lopsided if the agreement was entered into freely without coercion or deception. Our attorneys explain the do’s and don’ts and work to ensure that your agreement satisfies the court’s criteria.
Considering A Marital Agreement?
If you and your fiancee/fiance or spouse are amenable, we can help you draft the elements of a prenuptial or post-marital agreement. If you have been asked to sign a prenup and have questions or reservations, we can take a look and give our legal opinion. We provide a free initial consultation, serving Springfield and surrounding Missouri. Call 417-865-5297 or contact us online.