If you’re getting married in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, you and your spouse should think about signing a prenuptial agreement together. These agreements, which are often called “prenups” or premarital agreements, can help you clarify your property rights, manage how your debts and assets should be handled in the event of death or divorce, and aid with financial planning. With the support of a clear and comprehensive premarital agreement, you and your spouse can feel confident you will know exactly how to handle any future emergencies that might arise.
While prenuptial agreements are useful for all types of couples, drafting them is not a simple matter. In order to be considered valid and enforceable, premarital agreements must comply with Utah’s many laws and regulations, which are not always easy to interpret or apply. Let an experienced Salt Lake City prenup lawyer help take care of your agreement, so that you can focus on simply enjoying your engagement and big day. To talk about whether a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your fiancé or fiancée, call family law attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today.
What is a Premarital Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements, which are also called prenups or premarital agreements, are essentially contracts between couples who are engaged to be married. Generally speaking, these contracts itemize each spouse’s debts, assets, and properties, and delineate the terms of how those items will be divided and managed in the event of a future divorce or passing. Under the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which is part of the Utah Code, state law defines a prenup as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” This is the verbatim legal definition established by Utah Code § 30-8-2(1).
Because prenups can be interpreted as implying a potential for separation in the future, some couples are very opposed to creating them for emotional reasons. This hesitance is understandable; but while premarital agreements may not be the most romantic aspect of a marriage, they can be tremendously useful practical tools to protect valuable assets and help reduce conflict and confusion should anything unexpected occur later down the road.
What Do Prenups Cover in Utah?
Some people prefer to avoid prenups for emotional reasons, while others simply feel they are not financially necessary. But you might be surprised at just how comprehensive a premarital agreement can really be. Even if you don’t think a prenuptial agreement is justified by your financial condition, it can still help provide guidance on many critical issues that are part of your marriage and future together.
What Can I Put in My Prenup?
In accordance with Utah Code § 30-8-4, premarital agreements may make provisions for any and all of the following:
- Each spouse’s rights and obligations regarding property “whenever and wherever acquired or located.” Utah’s legal definition of property is expansive and includes real property, personal property, income, and earnings. Specifically, Utah Code § 30-8-2(2) defines property as “an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.”
- Each spouse’s right to “buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property.”
- How property disposition (transfer) will be handled in the event of death, divorce, or other unexpected occurrences.
- How spousal support or alimony may be modified or terminated.
- How life insurance policy benefits will be transferred upon death.
- Almost anything else you’d like to include, provided it does not break any laws or violate any public policies.
Prenups do not cover issues pertaining to children, such as child support or health insurance.
The requirements for a prenuptial agreement to be deemed valid and enforceable are addressed by Utah Code § 30-8-6. A prenuptial is not enforceable if:
- Either party did not agree to the prenup voluntarily.
- The prenup was fraudulent at the time it was executed, depending on the circumstances prior to the agreement’s execution.
Creating a thorough, thoughtful, and enforceable prenup can be a surprisingly difficult task, and should, therefore, be handled by an experienced prenup attorney with a deep working knowledge of family law in Utah. Each prenuptial agreement is unique to the couple, which is why Darwin Overson will sit down with you and your fiancé or fiancée to talk in detail about your goals, concerns, and any obstacles or special considerations that need to be accounted for.
Who Should Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?
It’s a common misconception that only very wealthy people need prenups. In reality, premarital agreements can provide clarity and guidance for everyone, regardless of what you and your husband or wife may own or earn.
That being said, there are certain people for whom a prenup may be particularly important. While everyone should consider signing a prenup, you should pay this matter special attention if:
- The aggregate value of your assets exceeds $50,000.
- You and your fiancé or fiancée own a business together, or one of you is employed by the other.
- You anticipate receiving an inheritance.
- You are a business owner or stockholder.
- You are a caregiver for an ill and/or elderly relative, or provide care for a disabled adult child or family member.
- You are a homeowner and/or own other real property.
- You are saving for retirement.
- You have multiple properties, whether located in or outside of the Salt Lake City area.
- You intend to pursue a degree with financial support from your spouse.
- You wish to transfer your real property to someone other than your spouse in the event of your passing.
- Your annual salary exceeds $100,000.
Our Salt Lake City Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys Can Help
Premarital agreements are sometimes viewed as controversial, but have proven tremendously useful for millions upon millions of couples from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. It does not matter if you are a young couple with modest savings or anolder couple with considerable assets. Before you dismiss the idea of signing a prenup, you should discuss the benefits of a premarital agreement with a family law attorney.
Utah prenuptial agreements lawyer Darwin Overson can answer your questions, advise you of your legal rights, and walk you through the drafting process, so that you and your spouse can feel confident you are making an informed decision about what’s best for your marriage. Even if you are already married, Darwin may be able to help you create a postnuptial agreement with your spouse.
To set up a completely free and confidential legal consultation, call Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287, or contact us online today.