Hamilton Law Prenuptial Agreements
In Michigan, a prenuptial agreement must be drafted properly and under the right circumstances to be enforceable in a later divorce proceeding.
The Michigan Supreme Court has recently held that the terms of a prenuptial (or “antenuptial”) agreement remain subject to the powers of the court to determine rights and the distribution of assets when a marriage is dissolved.
What does this mean?
It means that a blank form prenuptial agreement downloaded from dubious internet sources is unlikely to pass muster in a Michigan courtroom. Retaining an experienced attorney to draft your prenuptial agreement is essential to its enforceability.
- It must be fair to both parties, meaning that—
- Each party to the prenuptial agreement must have had an equal opportunity to consult with independent legal counsel.
- The financial disclosures in the prenuptial agreement must adequately inform each party of the agreement's full costs and benefits.
- Those benefits must not unconscionably favor one party over the other.
- The parties' circumstances have not so changed since its execution as to make later enforcement unfair.
Thus, Michigan courts will review not only the letter of the agreement itself, but also the circumstances in which it was drafted and executed.
Nevertheless, marital parties in Michigan retain the right to contract. A properly drafted, equitable prenuptial agreement will be enforced by Michigan courts. However, it must now be expected that the court overseeing a later divorce proceeding will review the agreement to determine whether or not it is equitable.
Thus, prenuptial agreements must be drafted with the future in mind.
At Hamilton Law, we specialize in drafting effective prenuptial agreements that will stand the test of time—and judicial scrutiny. Call us today at (248) 488-8394 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation with our knowledgeable attorneys. Our office is available for in-person appointments. We also offer virtual telephone consultations and appointments.