Under Minnesota law, couples can enter into agreements to determine what will happen to them and their financial assets if their marriage were to end in divorce or separation. A premarital agreement is a contract made between two individuals who are planning to get married. The premarital contract only becomes enforceable if couple actually marries. The purpose of the contract is not to upset the other spouse but to simply protect oneself. When two people marry, separate property usually becomes marital property and is subject to division during a divorce. A premarital agreement can allow a spouse to keep his or her property separate. The court will only enforce a premarital agreement if it is both procedurally and substantively fair. When obtaining a premarital agreement, both spouses cannot be represented by the same attorney. Typically, the spouse seeking the premarital agreement has an attorney draw up the contract and then it is reviewed by the other spouse or the other spouse’s attorney. It is not mandatory for the non-seeking spouse to have an attorney, but it is strongly urged, simply to make sure everything is reasonable and fair within the agreement. That’s why we work together with your fiancé’s lawyer, to facilitate your discussion and draw up a fair contract.
A post-nuptial agreement is the same as a prenuptial agreement except that it’s entered into after the couple has married. A postnuptial agreement will consist of much of the same information, so that both parties understand how property and finances will be divided in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial contract is valid and enforceable only if at the time of its execution each spouse is represented by separate legal counsel. Another circumstance for the postnuptial agreement is that if either spouse files for a divorce or separation within the first two years after signing the document, the postnuptial agreement is rendered invalid. Seymour Family Law strives to compose agreements with the goal of assuring fairness to our clients and their future spouses.