Seattle Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
The idea of creating a prenuptial agreement, or postnuptial agreement, maybe the furthest from our minds when getting engaged or being just married. These agreements serve as a way to safeguard our rights throughout our union and even after divorce. Provisions for your property, debts, and assets are often included within these contracts, but Washington law requires these agreements to be reasonable for any enforceability.
At ZafiroLaw, our Seattle-based family lawyers have extensive experience drawing up these marital agreements. We also have a lot of experience in marital agreements that have an immigration component. We also help clients determine the validity of their pre or post-nuptial contracts when considering a divorce. You can trust our highly skilled attorneys to provide the guidance and representation you need to ensure your assets and family are protected when handling these types of sensitive matters.
What are Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
In Washington, there are two primary types of marital agreements King County and Snohomish County couples can use to protect their financial and familial interests.
Those who are engaged may first consider a prenuptial agreement. This contract is drawn up before marriage and clarifies who owns what assets brought into the union. Additionally, you can also determine how these assets would be characterized under the law should your marriage end in separation or divorce.
Postnuptial agreements are created after your marriage has already taken place. Many couples use these contracts as part of their estate plan strategy and determining ownership of debts and assets acquired during their union. Much like prenuptial agreements, these agreements can determine the division of covered assets should a divorce or legal separation occur.
What Are the Benefits of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
Because Washington treats marital assets as community property, pre or post-nuptial agreements help to create more clarity regarding property ownership during the marriage.
Other benefits that a carefully written marital agreement can bring include:
Family and Asset Protection
While divorce can pose a risk to your assets and property, an experienced Seattle prenuptial and postnuptial attorney can help you protect yourself and your family by planning ahead. Preparing your relationship for possible storms that could lead to emotionally-charged decision-making, like custody and asset division negotiations, can make the process less stressful and more productive for everyone involved.
Prenups and postnups can help manage a broad range of issues in the event your marriage does not last. Having a strategy in place ahead of time can ensure your life transitions smoothly after a separation or divorce.
If you are already married and want a postnuptial agreement because your marriage is already rocky, this contract can provide additional clarity regarding financial and property issues ahead of time.
What Can Be Included in a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
Marital agreements have specific clauses permitted under Washington law to protect both parties in a marriage. Despite this, not all prenuptial and postnuptial contracts are enforceable due to a variety of reasons. Some provisions are not allowed by law, like predetermined child support amounts or custody arrangements.
If a family court judge finds the contract is overly unfair to one of the spouses, they may decide to throw it out and make their own orders. This is why having ZafiroLaw work with you to create a marital contact or enforce one is critical to your future after divorce, including for your family.
Typical clauses included in pre and post-nuptial agreements include:
Many times couples use marital agreements to outline each other’s financial responsibilities. This can also include consequences for not upholding their end of the contract. In prenups, this is used to ensure both will follow their agreed-upon duties before ever getting married.
A common clause in both pre-and postnuptial agreements is asset division. This provision can predetermine what assets and property are considered non-marital property and allows the spouse to retain ownership if a divorce occurs.
Spousal Support / Alimony
If you or your spouse does not earn income for the household and relies on the other for financing what is needed, a pre-or postnuptial agreement provides spousal support (alimony) for you in case of divorce.
Sometimes, spouses only want their marital agreements to last for a limited time, and using a sunset clause can state at what date the contract is no longer valid.
How ZafiroLaw Can Help
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help determine the outcome of your assets and property, as well as many other issues, in case your marriage ends in divorce or legal separation. The complexities of these contracts can easily lead to mistakes which ultimately cause unenforceability of the agreement. This makes it crucial to seek the assistance of our family law attorneys at ZafiroLaw.
Our firm is conveniently located in Seattle, Washington, and provides our prenuptial and postnuptial services to surrounding communities, including Shorleine, Kent, Sammamish, and Snohomish County. To learn more about how I can help your particular family law situation, please call us at 206-547-9906 or contact us today!