Each state treats prenuptial agreements differently, so before you start, find a legal representative who can help you determine what would be best in your situation. If you live in Iowa, your prenuptial agreement will be viewed by a judge in the state who will review the laws of the state as a guide.
Conversations of prenuptial agreements and discussions about what happens in a divorce were once taboo subjects. Not only were these questions seen as rude and insensitive, but discussing divorce at all was just seen as uncouth. Modern couples in marriages have changed their opinions about divorce and prenuptial agreement. Where past generations may have viewed prenuptial agreements as unromantic reductions of marriage into a business deal, couples today see it as a tool meant to protect their assets and interests.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are contracts used by couples to determine how personal and marital property and assets amassed before and during a marriage will be divided should the union end in divorce. Prenups define the rules governing ownership and asset accumulation in the union, including debt, real estate, and investments.
Typically, prenups vary by need but should meet the basic standards of any contract:
- It should be written and signed by both parties.
- It should be signed only by those capable of signing a legal document.
- It should not be signed by minors, mentally ill persons, and mentally disabled persons.
- It can’t be invalid from the onset (if used for a couple not allowed to marry.)
3 Mistakes Sure to Get Your Prenup Thrown Out
The court will not invalidate your prenup without cause. However, there are circumstances where an Iowa court of law could invalidate your agreement.
Your prenup can be invalidated if:
- The prenup is patently unfair and would leave either of the signors impoverished to a degree requiring public assistance.
- The agreement is dishonest or determined by the judge to be unconscionable due to a gross failure to disclose assets and debts.
- The judge discovered either party was withheld information or access that prevented their opportunity to waive their right to disclosure of debts and assets.
- One or both signors hid assets and debts to intentionally mislead their spouse or used coercion during negotiation or during the signing of the prenuptial agreement.
Your prenuptial agreement is not the final word in your asset division. Your prenup will play a significant role if it’s validated, but it’s important to realize it isn’t the final word. In Iowa, the length of your prenup doesn’t matter as long as it’s a legal document signed by both parties. If you have specific questions regarding your unique situation, consult an Iowa family law attorney.
At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, we can help you draft a valid prenuptial agreement. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online now for information or to schedule an appointment.