Prenuptial agreements, antenuptial agreements, and premarital agreements are contracts signed by a couple before they get married. These agreements state how property, assets, and debts will be defined and divided during the marriage and in the event of a divorce or death. It is important to hire a highly skilled attorney with an in-depth understanding of family law, real property and contracts. Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements are significant because they are created to protect a person’s financial and business interests.
Reasons to Create a Prenuptial/Antenuptial Agreement
Some people have negative views about prenuptial agreements because they believe it indicates a belief that the marriage won’t last or that there is a lack of trust in the relationship. People who want prenuptial agreements enter into marriage with the best of intentions and trust their partners. They want to make their own decisions regarding how their hard-earned money and assets will be allocated and don’t want those important decisions to be made by a judge or other outside party during a time of distress. Couples choose to get prenuptial or antenuptial agreements because they:
- Want a clear understanding of how their assets and debts will be distributed if a divorce or death occurs
- Opportunity to create a settlement that is fair and just for both parties
- Want to protect the financial welfare of children
- Want to protect each other from liability
- Want to avoid time-consuming litigation in the event of a divorce or death by having an effective plan in place.
Drafting Prenuptial/Antenuptial Agreements
We spend a lot of time talking with our clients so that there is no misunderstanding regarding what they want included in the contract. We carefully review the contract and discuss it in detail with our client prior to it being signed. It is our job to effectively communicate our client’s wishes within the contract and to make sure that the provisions will be executed in a manner that our client intended.
Elements of a Valid Prenuptial/Antenuptial Agreement
Satisfying all of the elements needed to produce a valid prenuptial or antenuptial agreement is extremely important. If any of the elements are missing or not fulfilled, the validity of the contract can be contested in court and deemed invalid by a judge.
Elements of a valid prenuptial agreement are:
- Contract is entered into voluntarily by both parties
- Contract must be in writing
- Full disclosure of each person’s assets and liabilities prior to executing the contract
- Contract cannot be unconscionable
Legal Assistance from a New Mexico Family Law Attorney
If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement or want to ask questions about your rights during and after a marriage, call a family lawyer at (505) 843-7303. Set up an initial consultation at either of our locations in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho.