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Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement is a written contract that is executed in consideration of marriage and becomes effective upon marriage. The terms “Prenuptial Agreement” and “Premarital Agreement” are used interchangeably.

Premarital agreements have been recognized in Indiana as valid contracts to determine property rights in the event of a divorce and to supercede the division that would otherwise take place by following our dissolution of marriage statutes. A premarital agreement typically delineates how assets and liabilities are to be divided upon divorce or death. In 1995, Indiana adopted its version of the Uniform Premarital Agreement, and Indiana courts generally try to uphold premarital agreements.

Typically, the agreements are only deemed non-enforceable if a court finds that the party did not execute the agreement voluntarily, or the agreement was unconscionable when the agreement was executed. A premarital agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parties. The agreement is enforceable without additional negotiation. What is typically recited in the agreement is sufficient as the mutual promise to marry.

Cohen Garelick & Glazier family law team provides services including the preparation and review of prenuptial agreements. Your prenuptial agreement will list each of the assets that you and your potential new spouse have prior to the marriage. This agreement will decide which of those assets would be pooled for common ownership, if any. It will also determine how to treat assets acquired after marriage by gift, inheritance, and the efforts of either or both parties. Then, in the case of dissolution or death, it would outline which property would be subject to division.

Depending on your goals, there are a variety of different ways your premarital agreement can be drafted. The purpose of such an agreement is not always only to protect the property of the wealthier person. When children are involved, it can be beneficial for you, your spouse, and your adult children (or their other parent) to know what you intend to give to your child(ren) and your spouse upon your death.




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