Enforcing Prenuptial Agreements in Arizona

Prenuptial, or premarital agreements, are defined under Arizona State Legislature as the “agreement between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.” In most instances, the agreement is with regard to property, but anything can be included in the agreement provided it does not violate any other law or any one’s civil rights.

Most people have a negative reaction to prenuptial agreements, mainly because it indicates a lack of trust. However, as a Houston divorce lawyer can explain to you, prenuptial agreements have a few benefits for both parties. For one thing, it sets out in black and white the disposition of assets that may provide a measure of relief for concerned parties such as family members and children. For another thing, it obviates the need for litigation in case of a divorce, and considerably simplifies the divorce process in many ways. A prenuptial agreement may also provide a measure of protection of assets from creditors.

Arizona law on premarital agreements generally follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1983 with slight modifications. The short, sweet version of the Act states that any premarital agreement is considered valid and enforceable if it is written down and signed by both parties unless one of the spouses was under duress or there was a deliberate non-disclosure of assets/liabilities at the time of signing.

The court typically maintains the validity of the prenuptial agreement and therefore affirming its enforceability unless it is proven that the terms of the agreement is unconscionable or a criminal violation. It is therefore important to consult with a lawyer to handle any issues regarding the enforcement of prenuptial agreements in Arizona. The rules are there but open to interpretation, and it is fatally easy to be railroaded into a situation without proper legal representation. In fact, to avoid issues of enforceability, it is advisable to seek the counsel of a competent divorce lawyer when drafting a prenuptial agreement.