Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts created by couples who want to determine how their assets will be divided if they ever get divorced. Prenuptial agreements are executed before marriage and postnuptial agreements are executed after marriage. Due to the complexity of legal issues involved in drafting these types of agreements, each person should have their own qualified attorney represent them prior to signing the contract. Having an experienced divorce attorney work with you during this process also ensures that any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are legally valid and won’t adversely affect you.
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What You Must Know About Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements in New Mexico
When couples do not have prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements in place, they are subject to New Mexico laws in terms of how their personal assets are allocated and who will receive property accumulated during the marriage. Some couples prefer to take the power into their own hands and want to be the ones who decide what happens to their assets in case a divorce happens. Usually, when the individuals each have an experienced attorney looking out for their interests, they are able to reach an agreement that is beneficial and fair to both people.
Topics Covered in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
The information included in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can cover a wide range of topics and explicitly state the intent of both spouses. Any provisions in the contract that violate New Mexico laws or public policy will not be considered valid and cannot be legally executed. Prenuptial and postnuptial often cover some of the following topics:
- Each spouse’s property rights
- Each spouse’s debt obligations
- How property will be divided or distributed if a divorce occurs or if either spouse dies
- Retirement benefits and life insurance proceeds
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are prenuptial agreements legally enforceable?
Prenuptial agreements are legally enforceable so long as they are drafted with care and knowledge of New Mexico law. There are certain types of provisions that will not be upheld by the Court, such as provisions about parenting time or child support. Other provisions, such as provisions about property division, need to be carefully drafted to ensure that the parties’ agreement is not found to be invalid in the future.
Can prenuptial agreements be overturned?
A prenuptial agreement could be overturned altogether if it was determined by a court to be entered into by a party under duress, misrepresentation, fraud, and the like. It is important to consult an attorney prior to entering into a prenuptial agreement to ensure that the agreements are fair and not unconscionable and that it is being entered into in a legally sufficient manner.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is entered into by spouses anytime after the date of marriage. A postnuptial agreement can be beneficial for spouses who receive an inheritance or enter into a new business after the date of marriage and seek to protect their assets or to avoid the debt obligation or liability from their spouse.
Is a postnuptial agreement legally binding?
A postnuptial agreement is legally binding except in circumstances where it is determined that the spouses entered into the agreement under fraud or duress or lack of disclosure. A postnuptial agreement also cannot be entered into by parties who have decided to divorce. It is important to consult an attorney if you are contemplating entering into a postnuptial to ensure that the agreement is enforceable in the future.
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