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Considering a Prenuptial Agreement?

Estate Planning

Getting married? Has your fiancée approached you about signing a prenuptial agreement? If so, make sure you have an attorney – your attorney – look at it first. Now discussing a prenuptial agreement may not be as romantic or fun as picking out your honeymoon destination, but sometimes the discussion is necessary, especially if you or your fiancée has children by another.

A prenuptial, or antenuptial agreement is an agreement made by a couple in contemplation of marriage concerning the ownership of their assets accumulated prior to or during the marriage should the marriage fail. In Michigan, prenuptial agreements have been codified and MCL 557.28 states: “A contract relating to property made between persons in contemplation of marriage shall remain in full force after marriage takes place.”

A prenuptial agreement in Michigan is handled much like any other contract between parties. If you and your fiancée want to enter into a prenuptial agreement it is a good idea that you each have an attorney. Too often one will have their attorney draft the agreement and the future spouse won’t have an attorney review it. But even though they didn’t have an attorney review it with them, they will be bound to that agreement. Independent counsel is not a requirement of a prenuptial agreement in Michigan. Basically, the attorney’s job is to make sure that everyone’s cards are on the table and both parties have an understanding what they will be entitled to should the marriage end. And no, this doesn’t just mean divorce. It could mean death too. Not pleasant to think about when you are planning a wedding, but it can happen.

By having your own attorney, you can make sure your rights and property are protected. If you are getting married and your fiancée has approached you with a prenuptial agreement, please contact the attorney here at Shinners & Cook and we can review it with you.