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Planning Ahead With Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements

Couples typically approach marriage with the hope it will last for a lifetime. But because nearly half of all American marriages end in divorce, it is sensible to at least discuss how to prepare for that possibility while one’s relationship is strong and thriving. Creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is one way to put that discussion down in writing.

Our legal staff at Babich Sarcone can help you draft an enforceable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Each attorney is well versed in Iowa family law and will review such a contract with an eye to your best interests.

How Prenuptial Agreements Work

A prenuptial agreement is a contract developed by a couple that delineates what they would like to happen with their property and assets in the event they divorce, separate or one of them dies. It is drafted before the marriage and becomes valid after the couple is wed.

Many couples seek out prenuptial agreements to protect a partner who is planning to be a stay-at-home parent; to determine in advance what will happen to substantial assets like a retirement account that they are bringing into the marriage; or to ensure children from a previous marriage receive assets that might otherwise be shared with the new spouse.

To be considered valid, a prenuptial agreement must be developed in this way:

  • The agreement must be entered into by both parties voluntarily.
  • Each party must hire their own attorney to assist with the drafting and review of the agreement.
  • Both members of the couple should be apprised of the other person’s financial assets – one member of the couple cannot hide assets from the other.
  • Not be created in such extreme circumstances that one party clearly felt pressured to sign it.

Our Iowa family law attorneys can help you discuss what you hope to gain out of your prenuptial agreement. They will protect your interests, while helping you and your partner create a solid plan to address life’s uncertainties.

Postnuptial Contracts – Let The Spouses Beware

While prenuptial contracts are frequently honored in Iowa courts, a postnuptial contract – one that is executed after a couple is legally wed – has a much shakier history across the state. Starting with the In re Kennedy’s Estate, 135 N.W. 53 (Iowa 1912) case, courts have routinely struck down postnups as unenforceable.

Couples seeking postnuptial agreements typically are looking for the same protections as those who create a contract before the marriage. However, given Iowa’s fractious history with postnup agreements, it’s best to have one of our attorneys review your situation to see if an enforceable postnuptial contract can be created for you.

Providing Qualified, Experienced Family Law Advice

Don’t take chances with significant family law documents such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Schedule an appointment with a Babich Sarcone attorney by calling our Des Moines office at 515-817-1870 or by filling out our online contact form.