Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are contracts that lay out how assets are to be distributed between a married couple in the event of a divorce or death. While some couples may feel that a prenuptial agreement may take the “romance” out of getting married, they are actually very practical and even date back thousands of years, when they were instituted by royal families of Europe and Asia. Prenuptial agreements may also address the potential distribution of assets in the event of a divorce long before the assets have been accumulated by a married couple, so the chance that any assets are being hidden or otherwise being kept fraudulently from one spouse is lower as well.

Such agreements may also be drafted after marriage, and are known as “postnuptial agreements.” But, in general, courts in all states prefer to enforce prenuptial agreements rather than postnuptial agreements, because the possibility that one spouse is trying to take financial advantage of the other is less likely, as engaged couples are usually happy with one another. After marriage, state courts will consider that each spouse in a marriage holds a “fiduciary duty” to care for and protect one another’s best interests.

Why Should We Get a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are a number of reasons why an engaged couple should set up a prenuptial agreement. Prenups can deal with a host of issues that may arise during the course of a marriage, including (but not limited to):

  • The distribution of assets such as real property, savings, stocks or retirement funds;
  • Part of sole ownership of a business;
  • Children or grandchildren from prior marriages;
  • Inheritances from family members;
  • One spouse being or becoming much more wealthy than the other;
  • One spouse supporting the other through college or professional school (law school, medical school, etc.); or
  • The care of loved ones (elderly parents, disabled children, etc.)

Prenuptial Agreements in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming

In general, prenups drafted in Idaho, Utah, or Wyoming must contain similar information. Any prenuptial agreement must follow five basic structural guidelines: 1. it must be presented to the Court in writing; 2. it must be voluntarily executed by both parties; 3. it may not contain any provisions that are “unconscionable;” 4. it must fully disclose of any and all relevant information at the time of its execution; and 5. it must be notarized at the time it is signed by both parties entering into the marriage. Utah and Idaho have adopted the standards outlines in the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), while Wyoming maintains its own standards.

Graham Norris and the associates of the Norris Law Group have decades of experience drafting prenuptial agreements in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Contact our offices today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation to discuss your needs in a valid prenuptial agreement.