Michigan Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Prenuptial agreements – also called “antenuptial agreements” in Michigan – are designed to protect each person’s property and property rights if the marriage ends due to separation, divorce, or death. By law, Michigan prenuptial agreements are finalized before a marriage takes place. Having drafted and reviewed hundreds of these legal safeguards, Friedman Law Firm has the experience you need to feel fully covered and aware before your marriage.
Although these agreements sometimes carry a negative stigma, the truth is that Michigan prenuptial agreements bring very positive results. They encourage open conversations in the present to deter conflict in the future. As such, we require honesty, full disclosure of affairs and assets, as well as the abiding desire for fairness.
WHAT IS A MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
Michigan prenuptial agreements are legal contracts that must conform to contract law. However, one exception exists. Unlike standard oral contracts, the court cannot enforce oral prenuptial agreements. Creating a professional document with our skilled family law attorneys will preserve the wishes of both spouses with the full backing of the court, should it ever need to be enforced.
Before the agreement can be enforced, the court must determine fairness, among other attributes. The three-question litmus test for fairness is listed below. So long as each question can be replied with a yes, the prenuptial agreement will be enforced.
- Was the Michigan prenuptial agreement obtained through fraud, duress, mistake, misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact?
- Was the prenuptial agreement unconscionable when executed?
- Have facts and circumstances so changed since the Michigan prenuptial agreement was executed that would make enforcement of it unfair or unreasonable?
WHO SHOULD GET A MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT?
Any couple contemplating marriage that seeks to set predetermined guidelines for dividing their estate in the event of divorce should consult with Friedman Law about getting a Michigan prenuptial agreement. No particular level of assets are required for a prenuptial agreement. In Michigan, a prenuptial agreement can cover anything not prohibited by law that doesn’t encourage divorce.
REASONS FOR ESTABLISHING A MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT
Common reasons for crafting Michigan prenuptial agreements are:
- Division of property, business interests, and financial accounts
- Guidelines for handling each spouse’s retirement accounts
- Outlining each spouse’s authority to manage the couple’s assets during the marriage
- Any future alimony allocations in the event of a divorce, including the duration of alimony payments
- The division of life insurance proceeds
- Support or inheritance of children from prior relationships
- Management of assets in the event of a spouse’s death
- Any desires regarding a will for either or both spouses
The Friedman Law Firm is committed to representing both parties involved in creating a Michigan prenuptial agreements with fairness and tact. Our family law attorneys bring many years of experience in Michigan law and prenuptial agreements to the table. We are ready to craft an equitable agreement for you and your future spouse that provides reasonable and legal guidelines for the division of your property and assets before marriage.
CAN A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT BE USED TO DETERMINE CHILD CUSTODY AND/OR CHILD SUPPORT QUESTIONS?
Under Michigan law, a prenuptial agreement can never determine child support or child custody. The courts have no way to fairly determine the best interests of a child in the unforeseeable future; child support is based on a child’s needs and their parents’ ability to pay at the time the parents decide to separate. The court makes this judgment at the time of separation, considering all assets involved at that time.
OTHER ISSUES WITH MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Full Disclosure – Michigan courts will only enforce a prenuptial agreement if both spouses fully disclosed their financial circumstances to each other prior to completing the agreement. For documentation, both spouses should prepare a complete financial statement and attach it to the prenuptial agreement. Friedman Law attorneys can help with drafting such statements as part of our helping with your prenuptial agreement.
Fraud – Michigan courts will declare a prenuptial agreement to be invalid if fraud is discovered on the part of either spouse. For example, if one spouse deliberately hid assets from the other when the couple signed the prenuptial agreement, a Michigan court will likely invalidate the agreement. Of course, any spouse who wishes to challenge the validity of a prenuptial agreement has the burden of proving fraud.
Threats to do Harm – A spouse may challenge a prenuptial agreement if the other spouse forced him or her to sign the agreement by using threats of physical or psychological violence or harm. Note that a threat not to marry the other spouse isn’t considered sufficient harm to invalidate the agreement.
Mental Capacity – If one spouse isn’t mentally capable of signing the prenuptial agreement, a court will likely refuse to enforce it. For example, intoxication, mental illness, or other mental deficiencies at the time of signing the agreement are grounds for the court to nullify the agreement. – If one spouse isn’t mentally capable of signing the prenuptial agreement, a court will likely refuse to enforce it. For example, intoxication, mental illness, or other mental deficiencies at the time of signing the agreement are grounds for the court to nullify the agreement.
Amendments – If spouses later decide to make changes or add amendments to the agreement, both must sign a written document of amendment before a court will recognize and enforce the changes. Our attorneys can assist with modifying an existing prenuptial agreement.
OUR MICHIGAN PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT LAWYERS CAN HELP
Friedman Law Firm will ensure your Michigan prenuptial agreement reflects the wishes and willingness of both spouses. Our Royal Oak attorneys possess the knowledge, experience, and compassion to help you navigate the complexities of Michigan family law that governs prenuptial agreements.
When you are ready to craft a Michigan prenuptial agreement and require guidance, or you simply need advice about Michigan prenuptial agreements, contact the Michigan family law lawyers at The Friedman Law Firm for a no-cost consultation.