How to Make A Michigan Prenup Effective
Prenuptial lawyers in Grand Rapids wish that all marriages would stand the test of time. The sad truth, however, is that the majority of marriages really do end in divorce. While no couple should get married anticipating that this will happen, working out some prenuptial details is the best way to protect you and your spouse in the event of a divorce.
Making a prenuptial agreement is one thing, but how can you make sure that it will stand up in court if your spouse contests it? How can you make sure that a judge won’t throw it out? Here are some key tips for making a prenup that will be binding.
- Make sure to get it in writing. Take it from a prenup lawyer who has handled plenty of these cases in and around Grand Rapids; oral agreements become “he said, she said,” and are not valid.
- Disclose all of your assets and liabilities. If you or your spouse hides anything, the prenup may be tossed out on the grounds that full disclosure was not made at the time of signing.
- The prenup must be conscionable, or fair. If the agreement is lopsided, favoring one spouse over the other, a judge may throw it out entirely, leaving you with no protection.
- The prenup must be signed voluntarily. Be sure to do this well before the wedding; one signed the day before (or the day of) the wedding, for example, may be seen as coercing the signature of the other party with the full pressure of backing out of the wedding at the last minute view as coercion.
- Both parties must sign, and there should be witnesses and preferably notarized witnesses. You need proof that the signing was voluntary and not coerced, so witnesses are critical. A notary is your best bet, as their claim will hold up if your spouse takes you to court in a divorce.
The details of a prenup are important, no matter which side of the contract you are on. It may protect one spouse’s assets, but it can also protect a spouse from the other party’s liabilities. Both parties have every reason to make sure that it is fair and properly executed. It may seem unromantic, but it’s a necessary step, no matter what level of assets you may have.
Prenuptial lawyers in Grand Rapids see cases where spouses have every right to contest the prenup, and are doing so because it is unconscionable. Other times, there might be a loophole in the contract that allows a spouse who should get less by the terms of the contract take a major bite out of his or her ex-spouse’s assets.
Making a prenup that is fair, legally binding, and that will hold up in court can be tricky. Complicating the matter further is the fact that planning a wedding is emotionally charged. Of course everyone wants the marriage to last and for the prenup to never come into play, but unfortunately, prenup lawyers in Grand Rapids use these documents all the time to properly distribute assets during a divorce. Love and good intentions just aren’t always enough.
If you would like to speak with a professional Grand Rapids prenup lawyer, please contact Eyestone Law Offices at 800.667.5291 to schedule a free initial consultation today! We have three offices conveniently located in Grandville, Muskegon, and in Grand Rapids near Woodland Mall and provide services throughout West Michigan.