Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

The creation of a family means looking forward and taking steps to protect your relationship and your future. Colbert Family Law, LLC offers a variety of legal services to help new families start life together with confidence and peace of mind.

Many people think prenuptial or postnuptial agreements mean that a couple is planning for divorce. While having an agreement does make divorce easier if it should take place, a prenup can actually serve to strengthen a new marriage. Creating a prenuptial agreement means couples are using their heads, as well as their hearts, when entering into marriage, and that they have taken the time to clarify expectations about issues that are important to them so that they can begin their marriage on solid ground.

Rather than being a bone of contention, reaching a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be an opportunity for couples to improve communication and negotiation skills that will serve them well throughout marriage, particularly if the agreement is reached through collaborative process.

A prenuptial agreement can help protect family or business assets, help prevent costly litigation, keep property out of the hands of creditors, and ensure that the parties' assets are disposed of as they intend. However, unless properly executed, prenuptial agreements may be declared invalid by Alaska courts. At Colbert Family Law, LLC, we draft and review prenuptial and postnuptial agreements with care and sensitivity. We are committed to making sure that agreements are executed voluntarily, with full disclosure of relevant information, so that our clients have all the facts necessary to enter into a valid agreement that meets their needs.

Colbert Family Law, LLC serves clients throughout Alaska, from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley to remote villages. If you are interested in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, a relationship contract, or essential estate planning, contact Colbert Family Law, LLC online or at (907) 279-5001 to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can serve your family.

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Common Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Concerns

Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract about what will happen with property, earnings, support and other issues if your planned marriage ends in divorce or death.  A prenuptial agreement is a very good idea if one or both partners have personal wealth before the marriage, if either partner has children before the marriage, or if the partners want to establish a way of dealing with their assets that is different than what the law would impose.  For an agreement to be valid and enforceable later, at death or divorce when it really matters, BOTH partners have to consult lawyers.  An agreement drafted by one partner’s lawyer, and not reviewed by a lawyer for the other, is probably not worth entering into.  Also, both partners have to be willing to give the other full disclosure of assets and debts; without this the agreement is probably worthless.

Obtaining a prenuptial agreement need not be expensive and can pay for itself many times over.  Also, negotiating an agreement is a perfect subject for the collaborative process.  With collaborative lawyers, the soon-to-be married partners can meet together with both lawyers in a civilized and friendly environment to work out the agreement.

Many people fear that entering into a prenuptial agreement will cast a cloud over the upcoming marriage, implying that the marriage won’t last and that divorce is inevitable.  This fear is misplaced.  Talking about finances before the marriage is usually very healthy for the relationship, and may actually prevent problems later on because the partners talk about their financial assumptions in advance.

Consulting a lawyer about a prenuptial agreement is a very small investment in something that could prove extremely valuable later, even if the parties never divorce and the marriage endures the test of time.