Postnuptial Agreements Attorney in Michigan

Are you thinking about creating a postnuptial agreement in Michigan? If so, a post-marriage contract lawyer in Michigan like Lisa D. Stern can make a big difference. Lisa can help you understand your rights and what you must include in your agreement. She can also draft the agreement to fit your unique situation and review it to ensure it’s fair and follows Michigan law. If you and your spouse already have a postnuptial agreement, she can check and update it to ensure it protects your interests.

Lisa D. Stern is ready to help you with all the steps of your postnuptial agreement. Contact her Michigan family law firm today for an initial consultation session to get the help you need.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement? How Does It Differ from a Prenuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract that married couples sign that outlines how they will divide their assets and handle financial issues like debts if their marriage ends. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, which couples arrange before marriage, a postnuptial agreement comes into play after a couple has already married. An effective post-nup can provide peace of mind and protect both parties’ interests.

This kind of agreement is handy for couples who might not have considered financial issues before marriage or those whose financial situations have changed significantly since their wedding. For instance, if one partner starts a business after marriage, a postnuptial agreement can clarify how they would handle this asset in a divorce.

Both spouses must fully disclose their financial situations to create a valid postnuptial agreement in Michigan. This includes income, assets, and debts. Then, the couple must agree on how to divide their finances if they separate. This process requires honest and open communication and a skillful Michigan post-wedding contract attorney.

Each spouse should have their own lawyer when creating a postnuptial agreement. This ensures that the contract is fair and respects the rights of both parties. Lawyers also help spouses draft postnuptial agreements that meet all legal requirements in Michigan. A poorly designed or executed postnuptial agreement will likely be unenforceable under state law.

Why Might You Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

Different couples might want postnuptial agreements for various reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Changes in Financial Status: A postnuptial agreement might be necessary if one spouse experiences a significant change in their financial status. For example, if one partner suddenly inherits a large sum of money or has a significant increase in income, this agreement can outline how the couple will handle these new assets.
  • Starting a Business: A postnuptial agreement can protect a couple’s financial stability if one spouse decides to start a business. This agreement can define what will happen to the business in case of a divorce. It can also clarify whether the business is individual or shared property. This is essential for protecting the business and the couple’s financial interests.
  • Children from Previous Relationships: If one or both spouses have children from previous relationships, a postnuptial agreement can safeguard their children’s futures. A valid post-marriage contract can reserve certain assets for these children. It can also specify how assets will get divided among children from the current and previous relationships.
  • Significant Debts: If a spouse incurs significant debts after getting married, a postnuptial agreement can outline responsibilities for these debts. This is important to protect the other spouse from the unfair burden of debts they did not incur.
  • Marital Difficulties: Sometimes, couples working through marital problems use postnuptial agreements to define certain aspects of their relationships. This could include financial arrangements or related responsibilities. Such an agreement can provide a framework for the couple to rebuild their relationship on clear terms.

Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable Under Michigan Law?

Yes, postnuptial agreements are generally enforceable under Michigan law. However, they must meet certain criteria for courts to consider them valid. Namely, couples must enter into these agreements voluntarily, with a full understanding by both parties. They must also be fair at the time of signing.

Court cases like Wright v. Wright and Hodge v. Parks outline how Michigan courts typically examine these agreements. With these cases, the courts interpreted the laws in a way that helps ensure no one is unfairly taken advantage of and that both parties agree to the terms of the agreements without being forced or misled.

In Wright v. Wright, the court decided that postnuptial agreements are generally valid. The key points for enforceability were that both parties should understand the agreement and enter into it freely, without pressure or trickery. This case showed that if both spouses comprehend what they are agreeing to and sign the contract without being forced, Michigan courts will respect their agreement.

In Hodge v. Parks, the court determined that postnuptial agreements must be fair and reasonable at the time of signing to be enforceable. The court decided that an unfair or unreasonable agreement is not enforceable. This means that for a postnuptial agreement to be valid in Michigan, it must be understandable, agreed upon freely by both parties, and fair when they sign it.

What Elements Are Necessary for a Valid Postnup?

For a postnuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable in Michigan, it must contain several key elements. Here’s what’s necessary for a valid postnuptial agreement in Michigan:

  • Voluntary Agreement: Both parties must voluntarily agree to the postnuptial agreement. This means each person must sign the agreement without any force or coercion from the other. The contract might not be valid if there’s any hint that someone was forced or pressured.
  • Full Disclosure: Full disclosure of all assets, liabilities, income, and other financial information is also essential. Each spouse must honestly share their complete financial situation with the other. This includes disclosing all assets, debts, income, and expenses. The agreement could be invalid if one spouse hides information or is not truthful about their finances.
  • Fair and Reasonable: The agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time of signing. This means the terms should not heavily favor one spouse over the other. The court will look at the circumstances when the agreement was signed to decide if it was fair. If the agreement seems one-sided or unjust, it might not be enforceable.
  • Independent Legal Advice: Both parties should have independent legal advice. This means each spouse should have their own Michigan marital agreement attorney who can explain the terms of the agreement and ensure their client understands and agrees with them.
  • No Impact on Child Support: A postnuptial agreement cannot negatively impact a child’s right to support. Any terms in the agreement affecting child support or custody are typically not enforceable. The court always looks at what is in the child’s best interest. No agreement between parents can override this.

How a Matrimonial Agreement Lawyer in Michigan Can Help

If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, a spousal agreement lawyer in Michigan can help by:

  • Advising you on your rights under Michigan law
  • Helping you understand the financial implications of the agreement
  • Ensuring full and fair disclosure of assets and debts
  • Drafting the agreement to reflect your specific needs
  • Reviewing existing contracts for fairness and legality
  • Negotiating terms with your spouse’s lawyer
  • Ensuring the agreement complies with Michigan laws
  • Representing you in any disputes or court proceedings
  • Updating agreements to reflect changes in your situation

Contact a Post-Marriage Contract Attorney in Michigan Now

Ready to secure your future with a postnuptial agreement? Contact a trusted marital agreement attorney in Michigan for an initial consultation. Lisa D. Stern can provide personalized advice and support tailored to your unique situation. Call our Michigan postnuptial agreement law firm today.

Contact Attorney Lisa D. Stern

For an initial consultation with attorney Lisa D. Stern, call 248-335-5000 or complete our online contact form. You can discuss every aspect of child support with the utmost candor and confidentiality.