A prenuptial agreement can significantly impact property division in Michigan. Couples can create these legal contracts before marriage to outline how they will split assets and debts in a divorce.
Understanding the effect of a prenup on property division can ensure a fair financial future if a relationship ends.
Validity and enforceability
The court will only follow a prenup for property division when the agreement meets validity standards. In Michigan, both parties must provide full financial disclosure and execute the agreement willingly without undue pressure.
To be enforceable, the prenuptial agreement must meet legal standards and not be unconscionable. The court may not uphold an agreement that is unfair or one-sided.
Separate vs. marital property
The state follows an equitable distribution system when dividing property in divorce. The court aims to divide shared marital property fairly, but not necessarily equally.
A valid prenuptial agreement can modify these default rules. Instead, couples can choose how to divide their property according to the terms set out in their prenuptial agreement.
Couples commonly create these agreements to protect separate property. Under state law, separate property includes assets owned by one spouse before marriage or received through inheritance or gifts during the marriage.
A prenup can ensure that such property remains with the original owner in case of divorce. It can also establish other assets as separate property.
Couples who create prenups can define their own property division terms and protect their assets, as long as the contract meets legal standards. According to Newsweek, 35% of single survey respondents said they would likely create a prenup before getting married.