When couples are planning to marry, they may be focused on sending out invitations, choosing a venue and deciding on a cake. They usually aren’t thinking about what would happen if they divorce.
Some people view a prenuptial agreement, called an antenuptial contract in Minnesota, as planning for the worst before a marriage starts. However, they are an effective planning tool for couples who have each accumulated property before marriage. They address who has ownership and control of the property in the event the couple divorces.
In Minnesota, antenuptial contracts must be in writing, signed in the presence of two witnesses and a notary and entered into prior to the marriage.
Also, in order for the agreement to be valid and enforceable, each party must fully and fairly disclose all of their earnings and property to each other. They must also each have an opportunity to consult with their own attorney about the agreement.
If the couple decides later to revoke the antenuptial contract, they can only do so through a postnuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is similar to an antenuptial contract, however it is put in place after a couple marries instead of before. There are some items that cannot be included in a postnuptial agreement. These include provisions about child support, child custody and parenting time.
Also, postnuptial agreements are considered to be unenforceable if either spouse pursues legal separation or dissolution of the marriage within two years of the agreement.
It’s important that the agreements are completed correctly. An experienced family law attorney can help couples with their questions and provide advice.