Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Serving Rochester Hills, MI Drafts Sound Contracts

Established firm helps prospective spouses safeguard their interests

As couples approach marriage and start a new chapter of their lives together, they are faced with many exciting changes and filled with hope that their loving relationship will last forever. We do know, however, that people and circumstances can change, leading many spouses to divorce at some point in the future. With that in mind, it’s beneficial to develop a fair framework that safeguards your interests should your marriage end. At Shatzman & Shatzman, we assist Macomb and Oakland County clients who are looking to establish sound prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to protect their assets and minimize the likelihood of a difficult divorce.

Responsive attorney details what can be covered in a Michigan prenup

We provide detailed advice on prenuptial agreements, sometimes known as antenuptial agreements in Michigan, by explaining to clients what these contracts can address:

  • Property division — Once a couple is wed, any assets which they accumulate through their joint or individual efforts are generally classified as marital property regardless of which spouse’s income was used to accumulate these assets. While assets which each party owned prior to the marriage may seem safe, disputes can arise over whether these assets were commingled or whether the increase in the value of these assets during the marriage should be deemed marital. Business shares, professional degrees, pensions and other investments could lead to complex and costly disputes. By setting clear guidelines and valuations in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you give yourself the best chance to retain what you brought into the marriage.
  • Spousal support — If one party earns most or all of the family’s income, questions regarding spousal support can become highly contentious. These determinations often hinge on the ability of the party seeking payments to meet their own financial needs. An authoritative marital agreement sets forth what type of alimony arrangement is acceptable to both sides given their education, job skills and experience.
  • What must be excluded — Child custody and support arrangements cannot be determined by a prenuptial agreement. In custody and visitation matters, courts are bound to make decisions that are in the child’s best interests at the time of the divorce, even if one or both parents disagree with the result. Likewise, child support is a legal obligation assigned to a noncustodial parent, not something that can be bargained away by a parent in exchange for something else. 

Judges can revise or ignore terms in a prenuptial agreement if they see fit. Documents that contain unconscionable terms or ones that were completed due to fraud or duress can be thrown out. Even when an agreement was created properly, changes in circumstances might lead the court to diverge from the original understanding. If you are beginning the divorce process and have an agreement in place, you should seek prompt counsel from a knowledgeable family lawyer to assess how the document might be applied.

Skillful legal counselor helps parties develop a fair, personalized document

Whether a prenuptial agreement is your idea or your partner’s, it is worthwhile to explore the potential advantages. Discussions of money are often delicate, but communication is usually much better when the parties are getting along. Usually, divorces occur after long periods of discord, so by the time the papers are filed, calm discussions are impossible, and matters are decided through expensive, confrontational litigation. Sometimes, spouses remain in unhappy marriages because they are uncertain about their financial well-being once the union is dissolved. Establishing a clear, enforceable agreement means that you can make informed choices. 

Contact an effective Michigan lawyer for a free consultation about prenuptial agreements

Shatzman & Shatzman assists clients in the preparation and negotiation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Serving Macomb and Oakland counties, we provide a free consultation. Please call 586-800-3018 or contact us online to schedule a meeting in Rochester Hills or St. Clair Shores.