Can Prenups Be Enforced in Utah?
Getting married involves planning for a wedding, a honeymoon, and the future – whether it's purchasing a home or having kids down the line. Although bringing up the idea of a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” prior to marriage can be difficult and unromantic, it can make the divorce process less costly and stressful for potentially both parties.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement between a couple before they get married. The contract outlines a plan for how the spouses’ assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.
Who Should Get a Prenup?
Prenups are not exclusive to the wealthy.
You should consider getting a prenuptial agreement if one or both spouses:
- Run a business
- Have children
- Are remarrying
- Bringing property into the marriage
- Or bringing significant debt into the marriage
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover in Utah?
A prenuptial agreement in Utah covers the following issues:
- Each spouse’s right to owned property
- Which spouse has the right to control or manage property
- What happens to the property after the couple divorces or separates
- Alimony rights
- Dispute resolution
Child Support and Prenups
While couples may decide child custody and child support matters in a prenup in Utah, if one party disagrees with the provisions and the dispute ends up in family court, a judge will not consider what the prenuptial agreement lays out about these issues. The right to child support belongs to the child, rather than the parent, and family law judges only have the authority to determine child custody.
Can Alimony Be Determined in a Prenup?
When it comes to alimony or “spousal support,” couples may establish:
- The amount
- The type
- And the duration of alimony in the event of a divorce
- Or eliminate spousal support altogether
But if the alimony terms would lead to one spouse experiencing financial strife and becoming eligible for public assistance, then the court will override the agreement.
What Makes a Prenup Legally Valid?
For a prenup to be legally valid in Utah, all the following conditions must be true:
- The agreement is in writing
- The agreement was signed “in contemplation of marriage,” which means it was made before an upcoming marriage
- The agreement is not required to be supported by “consideration,” which means each person gives the other something of value in a show of support for a contract
On the other hand, a prenup is not enforceable when one of the parties did not voluntarily sign the agreement and the agreement was fraudulent in nature. Lastly, a couple can revise or terminate the prenup after they get married.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Salt Lake City, give Lokken & Putnam, P.C. a call at (801) 829-9783 or fill out our online contact form. Let us help you get started on a new chapter in life.