Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Legal Guidance for Nashville Residents in Family Law Matters

In beginning a life with someone else, there are important factors to consider. Although many marriages are successful, planning for the chance that yours may end prematurely is a responsible choice. A key to successful future planning is to make sure you and your spouse agree on certain issues before or during a marriage. The family law attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can assist couples in the Nashville area with negotiating, drafting, and executing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. These contracts can establish terms regarding important decisions, including asset division and spousal support, in the event of a marriage’s dissolution. MHPS, PLLC offers dedicated and technologically advanced legal representation for clients throughout Tennessee.

Crafting an Enforceable Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements, sometimes referred to as ante-nuptial or premarital agreements, are entered into by two people before a marriage. Existing spouses, on the other hand, form postnuptial agreements after they are married. These agreements contain provisions regarding each spouse’s rights and obligations in the event of divorce or death. These agreements may contain clauses regarding asset division as well as spousal or child support specifications. However, waivers of parental support and time-sharing rights are not allowed under these agreements. Any provision that purports to waive these issues will not be enforced by a court.

Marital agreements may also be set up to protect any increases in the value of separate property, even when a non-owning spouse substantially contributes to that property during marriage. If this possibility is not taken into account, such a contribution otherwise may convert separate property into a marital asset. This may be an important stipulation, especially in the event of a high-asset divorce or when alimony is being awarded.

To be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must be entered into knowledgeably and in good faith, absent of any undue influence or duress by either spouse. Prenuptial agreements may use marriage itself as consideration. However, in Tennessee, postnuptial agreements must have adequate consideration in some other manner, such as mutual promises. These contracts must be signed by both parties with full and accurate knowledge of the property involved and their rights. To be valid, the agreement must also be fair and equitable. To prove that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is invalid, the contesting party must show its execution was flawed because it was affected by coercion, duress, or the failure to value or disclose assets properly.

Consult a Nashville Attorney to Protect Your Interests during Marriage and Divorce

Although entering into a marriage is a joyous event, planning for all types of contingencies is an important step in making sure you and your family are protected. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help Nashville residents and other individuals throughout Tennessee weigh their options. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC, we are committed to carefully advising our clients on what stipulations should be included in their marital agreements, as well as negotiating those terms and properly executing a valid contract.

Our firm also assists individuals in Charlotte, Brentwood, Franklin, and other communities across Davidson and Williamson Counties. If you need legal assistance with a family law matter, contact us online or call us at 615-800-7096 for an appointment.