Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Help In Salt Lake City
Both the divorce rate and the marriage rate in the United States have fallen in recent years. One can infer that both men and women are being more careful about what they enter into, which can account for the rise in the number of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in the U.S., compared to in years past. If you and your fiancé/e have decided to have a prenuptial agreement (or find you require a postnuptial agreement after you marry) to handle issues such as asset division and clarifying debts, hiring an experienced family law attorney to do so can help eliminate significant issues in the future.
Prenuptial Agreement Basics in Utah
The regulations governing prenuptial agreements, or prenups, in Utah are fairly similar to those in most other states, being based on the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act (UPAA) with slight changes enacted. A prenup takes effect as soon as the parties are legally married. By comparison, a postnuptial agreement is similar, but is conducted at any point during the marriage.
In Utah, there are specific stipulations that can be disposed of in a prenup, and equally specific stipulations as to the questions that must be dealt with at the time they come up in the marriage. For example, Utah prenuptial agreement laws (and postnuptial agreement laws) allow for the agreement to dispose of any debts that are incurred during the marriage. If one spouse makes significantly more than the other, the prenuptial agreement may specify that person takes on the debt, but also receives the asset. Other issues that may be settled in a Utah prenup include:
- The right to spousal support, also known as alimony;
- The right to collect on life insurance policies if one spouse predeceases the other (whether or not the parties divorce);
- Rights to sell or otherwise modify an asset – for example, to take out a second mortgage on a house is to modify that home as an asset; and
- Any other issue that does not violate a law or Utah’s general public policy.
Under the UPAA, not only does the agreement have to address only appropriate issues, it also must meet certain other stipulations: namely, it must be in writing, and it must have been signed ‘in contemplation of marriage.’ In other words, it must not have been signed for some undefined moment in the future, but for a rapidly approaching marriage. Also, there must have been no fraud or dishonesty involved of any kind.
Issues Unsuited For Prenups or Postnups
Be advised that some questions may not be disposed of. There are only a small number of issues that Utah law does not allow to be stipulated in prenups or postnups, but rather must be decided by a court, if events require it. They primarily deal with issues of child custody and support, and the rationale is that Utah law needs to preserve freedom of contract. If, for example, the amount of child support was decided in a postnuptial agreement conducted before a couple has any children, it cannot be enforced without being against public policy. Child support, under the law, technically belongs to the child, not the parent, so to contract away a child’s right to support is impermissible.
Contact A Salt Lake City Family Law Attorney
If you are in need of prenuptial agreement help or divorce law help, consulting a family law lawyer in Salt Lake City is a good idea. Jill L. Coil and the skilled and experienced attorneys at Coil Law, LLC will be happy to meet with you and help you work out an agreement that suits all involved. Contact us today at (801) 884-3775, or via our website, to set up an appointment.