If you are planning on tying the knot, you may be wondering if you and your spouse-to-be should consider a pre-nuptial agreement—known in the state of Utah as a premarital agreement. The short answer is “maybe.” There are some circumstances where a premarital agreement makes sense. Prospective spouses should consider their individual financial situations when determining if a premarital agreement is right for them.
What is a Premarital Agreement?
A premarital agreement is a legally binding contract that a couple makes when contemplating marriage, and it spells out what will happen to their assets if the couple decides to divorce or if one of them passes away. Premarital agreements govern the division of property, including real property such as homes or lots and personal property such as retirement accounts, cars, and jewelry. Asking you’re intended to sign a premarital agreement or being asked to sign one yourself does not necessarily mean that the other party doesn’t trust you. It just means that you both have peace of mind going into the marriage that all your cards are on the table.
As the name suggests, a prenuptial or premarital agreement must be finalized prior to the actual nuptial exchange. This legally binding document becomes effective immediately after the couple marries. A premarital agreement may make sense for you and your would-be spouse if:
- Either of you brings debt into the marriage.
- Either of you brings the property into the marriage.
- There is a big difference in the amount of wealth of one spouse versus the other.
- Either of the spouses is remarrying.
- Either of the spouses has children.
What Does a Premarital Agreement Cover?
In the state of Utah, premarital agreements cover some of the following issues in a post-divorce or separation scenario:
- The obligations and rights of each spouse in regard to the property they own. This includes both personally owned and jointly held properties.
- The management and control of properties, including who has the right to buy or sell, use or transfer, exchange, or abandon lease or mortgage property.
- The allocation of property in the event of the death of one party or if the parties were to separate or divorce.
The rights to any alimony in the event of a divorce or separation.
- The right to any death benefits from life insurance policies held by the parties.
What a Premarital Agreement Does Not Cover
It is important to note that a premarital agreement does not cover issues like child support and child custody. Nor can a premarital agreement limit or put a cap on the amount of child support that one parent must pay. These issues are resolved in family court. Only a family law judge can decide on child custody. The courts take each individual set of circumstances into account when determining what is in the best interest of the child or children.
Premarital agreements are revocable in the state of Utah. They can also be revised or changed. Both parties must agree to any changes or to the termination.
If you need help drafting the terms of a premarital agreement, our Salt Lake City family law attorney can help. Give Emy A. Cordano a call now to schedule your legal consultation and case review at (801) 901-8159.