It’s a common misconception that a prenuptial (before marriage) agreement is designed to punish someone if a marriage ends. In reality, a New Mexico prenuptial agreement is intended to strengthen and preserve a marriage. This is why hiring an experienced Family Law attorney from the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer in Santa Fe is crucial when drafting a prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is not a sign that spouses do not trust each other. The agreement is a pre-marriage contract that sets out an agreement in writing about how family finances will be handled, how child rearing will take place, religious agreements and more. By putting these things in writing ahead of time, it can help to ensure that the marriage is preserved in spite of changes that occur later in life. Pre-nuptial agreements are not just about divorce or death.
A family law attorney can help you draft a prenuptial agreement that minimizes conflict in your marriage when changes in life happen later on. A prenuptial agreement can often prevent a divorce later in life, once spouses are reminded of a signed agreement that they made when they were younger.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements in Santa Fe, NM
Drafting a prenuptial agreement can be a complex process due to significant assets owned by one or both spouses prior to the marriage. Debilitating health conditions of one spouse can also be a strong reason to draft a prenuptial contract.
Here are some examples where a prenuptial agreement can be tricky, but advisable, prior to a marriage:
- When one spouse starts and runs several businesses prior to the marriage, and wants to ensure continuity of businesses (after death), and wants those assets protected as separate property from marital shared property.
- When one spouse has significant inheritance assets and wants to leave assets to children, stepchildren, the spouse or other heirs.
- When one spouse has significant health problems and wants an agreement on long-term care, end-of-life care, or other related issues.
Every marriage situation is different and often complicated. This is why the assistance of an experienced Family Law attorney in Santa Fe is crucial.
A prenuptial agreement must be in writing, signed by both spouses, and witnessed and/or signed by a Notary Public. Without those conditions being met, any agreement could be declared null and void in the court system. The agreement should also be drafted well in advance of the wedding, so that both spouses have a reasonable amount of time to review and sign it.
Once the pre-nuptial agreement is signed and notarized, it will be able to withstand any sort of court scrutiny. It becomes a contract between a couple that is enforceable, even in a court of law. A New Mexico prenuptial agreement should give both spouses peace of mind that major life issues have been dealt with going into the marriage, rather than an escape hatch to get out of it.
Post-Nuptial Agreements in Santa Fe, NM
A postnuptial agreement sounds sort of like a divorce settlement agreement, but it’s not the same thing. A postnuptial agreement basically operates the same as a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed between a couple after the wedding ceremony. This can be a week after the wedding or a decade down the road.
Couples often discover that they disagree on certain things after they get married. A postnuptial agreement can be a way to come to agreement on those issues and strengthen the marriage. The only difference between the two types of agreements is when they happen:
- Pre-nuptial agreements happen before the wedding
- Post-nuptial agreements happen after the wedding
While post-nuptial agreements are lawful in New Mexico, not all 50 states recognize them as valid. If you sign a postnuptial agreement in Santa Fe and then move to a different state, your agreement might not be valid.
Contact a Family Law Attorney in Santa Fe, NM
If you are considering a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in Santa Fe, NM, call the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer today to start the process. Our office number is 505-924-1000.