Washington County, MN Divorce Attorneys Prepare Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

A marital agreement reduces the risk of a complicated divorce in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater and Woodbury, MN

With statistics indicating that as many as one in three marriages ends in divorce, it’s no surprise that prudent couples often consider prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to govern the division of assets and liabilities if the marriage ends. At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we draw on our more than 30 years’ combined experience to help you understand the advantages of marital agreements. They are not only for the wealthy. Anyone going into a marriage with assets or children from a previous marriage should consider a prenuptial agreement. Even if you’ve already said, “I do,” it’s not too late to enter into a postnuptial agreement.

Explaining prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Under Minnesota law, a prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement, is a contract between prospective spouses. Though once stigmatized as a bad omen for a marriage, antenuptial agreements are more common as people are marrying or remarrying later in life. These agreements allow the parties to protect assets they acquired before the marriage, limit spousal maintenance claims and complement an estate plan.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to an antenuptial agreement, but as its name indicates, it is entered into after a couple is already married. It is important to note that neither a prenuptial nor postnuptial agreement can govern issues involving children, such as who will get custody or how parenting time will be divided.

What are the requirements for marital agreements?

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is valid in Minnesota if:

  • Each party makes a full disclosure of all earnings and property.
  • The parties have had an opportunity to consult with legal counsel of their own choice. (For a postnuptial contract, each spouse must actually be represented by separate legal counsel.)
  • The agreement is procedurally and substantively fair both at the time of its execution and at the time of its enforcement.
  • The agreement is in writing and was signed in the presence of two witnesses and a notary.

Under Minnesota law, a postnuptial contract is presumed to be invalid if either party commences an action for a legal separation or dissolution within two years of the date of its execution, unless the spouse seeking to enforce the postnuptial contract can establish that it is fair and equitable.

Call our Minnesota divorce law firm to discuss marital agreements

Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. delivers intelligent and thorough legal representation for family law clients throughout Minnesota, including in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Eagan and Woodbury, MN. Consultations are free, and flexible scheduling is available. Call us at 651.760.7524 or contact us online to arrange an appointment.