It is becoming more common for Arizona residents to get prenuptial agreements prior to getting married. Traditionally, only those who were wealthy or were walking down the aisle for the second time would get a prenuptial agreement to protect the assets that they already had prior to marriage.
Essentially, a prenuptial agreement is a financial agreement the two partners draft and sign before obtaining a marriage license. The prenup could simply state that both parties will keep any assets they brought into the marriage should the marriage dissolve. The prenup could also set the stage for allowing one party to receive more money should the marriage last for more than a specific number of years. It should be noted that not all prenups hold up in court during divorce proceedings. For example, some lifestyle clauses that dictate how the marriage works often do not hold up.
It is recommended that the two parties discuss their financial wants and needs before they go to an attorney. Both parties should go to different attorneys in order to prevent a conflict of interest. This can take some time as all finances should be disclosed and the agreement needs to be negotiated weeks or months before the wedding takes place.
For some couples, prenuptial agreements are not necessary. For others, prenuptial agreements can help with asset division in the event that the marriage does not last. A family law attorney can help a person go over their finances and discuss what they expect their finances to look like once they are married. The attorney may also help ensure that the person's family assets or personal assets are protected against a potential divorce. These assets may include a family business or a business that the person started, inheritances and even retirement plans.