Engaged couples don’t want to think of a situation in which their relationship could end. However, it is helpful to evaluate your options and legal protections prior to a joint coupling to ensure that both of your interests are protected should the relationship come to an end. This is exactly what you could get when you choose to enact a prenup. In this post, we’ll be discussing what a prenuptial agreement is, when you should consider creating a prenup, and how prenups work under the law in the state of Utah.
A prenup is entered into by a couple that plans to marry. These agreements are put in place to establish boundaries and define ownership of property. Hopefully, you will not need to worry about the event of a divorce or separation, but they are more common than many married couples would like to think. It’s best to be prepared for divorce or separation, even if it seems like an impossibility in your future.
Bringing up a prenup may be uncomfortable, but it pays to be practical. Having a prenup does not mean that you don’t believe that your marriage will work. In the case of death or incapacitation, prenuptial agreements can even help to ensure that your spouse or dependents are properly cared for. Our family lawyers can ensure that a prenup is the best decision for you.
What can a prenup cover?
In many cases, you’ll hear about prenups that are related to financial assets or matters. While the unequal distribution of assets in a marriage is something that a prenup can account for, that is not the only element covered by this type of legal agreement. Prenups can also determine this and much more:
- Rights and obligations for both parties for any property owned by either entity
- Who has the right to buy, sell, use, or transfer property, such as a mortgage or a lease
- Allocation of property in the event of divorce or death
- Rights to alimony
- Life insurance benefit allocation
It is important to note that prenuptial agreements do not cover child support. Utah cannot limit the amount of support paid by a parent, or determine custody in advance. The agreement may refer to child support and custody if it can be agreed upon, but in court, the judge will give little consideration to what the agreement says for these circumstances.
Exploring requirements for prenuptial agreements in the state of Utah
Regulations for prenuptial agreements vary by state. In Utah, a prenup must be in writing and signed by both parties. If a divorce should occur, a judge will rule a prenup unenforceable if it is proven to be entered involuntarily. If a prenup obviously favors one party over the other, a judge may also choose to void it, or only consider part of it. Additionally, if the spouse does not disclose an accurate amount of property in the prenup, the agreement will be considered unenforceable.
When is a prenup appropriate to consider?
Prenup agreements are useful. Without one, the division of property will be left up to the state during a divorce or death. You may find a prenup appropriate if:
- One or both members is about to enter a lucrative career path
- One member is considerably wealthier or less wealthy than the other
- Either member has dependents that need to be cared for
- One member will obtain or inherit a large sum of money or assets, such as stocks
- One member owns a business
- One member is remarrying
Essentially, you may consider a prenup at any major life change. Proper planning is essential to ensure that you can navigate the relationship comfortably and confidently, and avoid regretful moments, later on, should issues arise.
A prenuptial agreement is considered to be permanently valid. By Utah law, it can be revoked if it is stated in writing and signed by both parties. A “sunset clause” can also be incorporated, giving an exploration date to an otherwise “permanent” agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is only beneficial to ensure that separation is fair for both parties involved. It is considerably cheaper than if you were to negotiate property with a divorce lawyer without an agreement. If you change your mind, there aren’t any barriers to you revoking your initial process. However, once you are married, it may be too late to create the agreement.
This is why it is essential to consider prior to marriage. Divorce or separation is a very painful, uncertain time in life. By considering what you may do or would like to see happen if it occurred, you can avoid more painful decisions and circumstances in an already difficult situation.
At Ascent Law, we strive to make these moments easy for you to navigate. We do this by streamlining your administrative process as much as possible and clearly explaining contractual terms and recommendations to ensure that your assets are protected. We want to partner with you and help you to make the best decisions possible before and within your marriage. For more information about how you can be legally protected, or to book your free intro call, contact us at (801) 432-8682.