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Frequently asked Questions about Prenuptial Agreements in Missouri

Frequently asked Questions about Prenuptial AgreementsA prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement or simply a “prenup,” is a contract made before getting married to determine in advance the husband and wife’s respective rights and obligations to property, debts, and maintenance (spousal support), as well as the respective rights of one party in the event that the other passes away.

The key advantage of a prenuptial agreement is that it prevents future litigation because you and your spouse have initially agreed on how to distribute your assets in the event of a divorce. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, Missouri state laws will determine how your property is distributed in case of a dispute between you and your spouse.

Can you write your own prenup in Missouri?

Yes, however, we strongly advise against it. You probably lack the expertise to draft a legal prenup unless you are a family law practitioner who specializes in them. If you are really determined to do this, there are several things you need to understand regarding legal prenuptial agreements. Continue reading to learn more about them.

Do I need a lawyer for a prenup in Missouri?

In Missouri, if you or your spouse want to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you might need to speak with a prenup lawyer who can help you through the nuances of your situation and make sure you completely understand your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement before you sign it. A knowledgeable family law attorney may help in the process in a number of ways, including:

  • Making sure that your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will be enforced in the case of a future divorce or spouse death is crucial. Experts in family law are aware of the conditions that must be met in Missouri in order to create legally binding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
  • In terms of the main provisions of the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, such as asset determination, property distribution, death benefits, settlements, and others, family law attorneys may help choose an equitable solution for both parties.
  • When you are currently happily married or getting married, it might be difficult to discuss the possibility of your marriage ending. Family law attorneys have expertise guiding clients through these delicate conversations in a way that reduces tension and encourages a just settlement.
  • A few of the benefits of having an attorney prepare a prenuptial agreement is that it will protect your separate property, specify what is considered community property, and establish the groundwork for future legal issues, should they arise from a divorce, legal separation, or even death.

How long does a prenup last in Missouri?

Prenuptial agreements often last for the duration of a marriage if their terms are complied with. Prenuptial agreements, however, may have clauses that expire. The most typical one may be a clause stating that spousal support won’t be paid unless the couple has been together for at least ten years. Many people would consider that to be an acceptable compromise. Otherwise, prenuptial agreements are supposed to be binding for the duration of the marriage.

Do prenuptial agreements hold up in court in Missouri?

Prenuptial agreements are generally recognized by Missouri courts. The agreement must, however, be “enforceable.”

In order for it to be enforceable in court, a prenuptial agreement must be signed and in writing. At the heart of any divorce proceeding is a requirement that the couple fully disclose all of their assets, liabilities, and separate property.

Additionally, the prenuptial agreement must be conscionable. This means it must not leave one party stripped of their basic rights, financially wanting, or be so one-sided as to put an undue burden on that party.

The agreement must also be reasonable, fair, and based on complete disclosure of all material information. Both parties must act in good faith and fully comprehend the terms of their agreement.

The prenuptial agreement will not be upheld by Missouri courts if any of these conditions are not met or if it is oral.

What are the disadvantages of a prenuptial agreement in Missouri?

Although it’s normally in your best interest to safeguard yourself with a prenuptial agreement before getting married, you should be aware of their disadvantages.

Prenuptial Contracts Can Favor One Spouse Over the Other.

It is crucial that married couples each have their own lawyer who is experienced in family law. They may make sure their prenup is equitable for both parties in this manner. When the time comes to employ a prenuptial agreement, a judge can rule that it is invalid if it is excessively one-sided.

Prenuptial Agreements Might Be Unpleasant to Discuss.

It can occasionally result in disputes or disagreements. However, marriage involves talking about challenging topics like money, and marriage isn’t always romantic either.

You Might Omit Important Information.

This is one of the main arguments in favor of hiring a skilled prenup lawyer to create your contract. They can make sure you include all you need to and not forget anything important.

Your Prenuptial Agreement May Be Invalid.

It’s crucial to understand what can and cannot be said in your prenuptial agreement, as well as what provisions are invalid under Missouri law. The easiest method to do this is to hire a skilled prenup lawyer to assist you in drafting your arrangement.

It Doesn’t Address All Divorce-Related Issues.

Child custody, parenting time, and child support are a few matters that a prenuptial agreement cannot specify.

How much money should you have to consider a prenup?

The price of prenups might vary depending on a number of circumstances. The average cost for most couples is between $1,000 and $10,000 for more difficult circumstances. Although there are templates and resources online, it is advisable to engage a private attorney to make sure the agreement is legitimate and enforceable.

How can I protect my assets without a prenup?

Documenting everything carefully is the best approach to safeguard your assets without a prenuptial agreement. When you discover items like retirement money or other bank accounts acquired before your commitment, it might be advantageous later if you organize and maintain track of vital information from the start of your marriage.

Missouri’s legal system encourages people to reach their own agreements through contracts. With some limited exemptions, couples can count on properly written prenuptial agreements to minimize issues in the case of divorce and specify rights upon death.

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Get in touch with Shea Kohl Law if you’re thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement or, more importantly, if you’re getting a divorce where one was made prior to marriage.

Dial (636) 946-9999 to speak with an experienced family law attorney in St Charles County.

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