In the state of Michigan, a prenuptial agreement can cover absolutely anything that is not prohibited by law.
Prenuptial agreements always cover the following things:
- The division of the property as well as the business interests of the couple as separate individuals as well as those that they may occur during the subsistence of the marriage;
- The spouse who will get to keep the retirement accounts or if the retirement accounts will be divided among the two of them and how the division will be done;
- The ability of each spouse to manage the assets during the existence of the marriage;
- Whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other as well as the amount and the duration of the payment in case of a divorce;
- Whether the spouses will divide the life insurance proceeds;
- The support that would be given to the children born into the marriage as well as the support that will be given to children coming from prior relationships.
- What would happen if one of the spouses dies during the marriage;
- Who will execute the last will and testament; and
- Whether the spouses will be allowed to remarry should one die and still keep the properties referring to the relationship.
The most important part of a prenuptial agreement is the part where the parties would be on the side of the terms of their divorce. If the parties have already agreed as to what the other will get at the time of the dissolution of the marriage there should not be any problem at all. However, there is often a problem that arises when the breakdown of the marriage is too serious and leads to anger between the spouses.
In cases where there is resentment between the spouses, it becomes hard for the parties to decide on whether or not they should follow the prenuptial agreement. In some cases that have been handled even with the existence of a prenuptial agreement the parties often question such existence and do not want to follow the rules set in the divorce.
Can the prenuptial agreement determine child custody and child support?
A prenuptial agreement is limited by its terms and must be followed by the parties. However, you should keep in mind that the prenuptial agreement cannot predetermine child support or child custody because such terms depend primarily on the aspects of the marriage and their family life at the time of the divorce.
Keep in mind that the court bases child support on many different factors. Child support can be based on the child’s needs or the ability of the parents or the parent to pay as well as the economic circumstances of the family. It cannot be predetermined through the use of a prenuptial agreement as that would be unfair not just to the children but to the spouses as well.
Child custody is another consideration that cannot be included in the prenuptial agreement. The prenuptial agreement can only determine the relationship of the parties at the time of the marriage and as well as during the time of the divorce but the children their custody and support will have to be determined by a judge based on the best interest of the child it cannot be determined in advance.
Even if the parents would agree during the divorce as to the kind of child support and who gets child custody it should still be approved by the court. This is how important it is for the courts to protect the children.
How can we ensure that the prenuptial agreement can be enforced in Michigan?
In the state of Michigan, there is the rule that is called the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act. The Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act is a set of rules that many states abide by to check if the agreement is proper and enforceable. This would include the following:
- The prenuptial agreement must have been entered into voluntarily and with full disclosure of all of the rights;
- There must be a proper waiver of the rights;
- It must be fair, equitable, and reasonable under the circumstances;
- It must be free from any form of duress or undue influence;
- It must be free from fraud;
- It must be free from lack of consent; and
- Both the spouses must sign the agreement.
It is only once that the court is sure that the requirements have been complied with that the prenuptial agreement will be considered enforceable.
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