We hear the term “prenup” often, and you probably have a general idea about what it means. According to a google dictionary search, a “Prenuptial Agreement” is “an agreement made by a couple before they marry concerning the ownership of their respective assets should the marriage fail.” The key here is that a prenup is an agreement; in other words, it is a type of contract. In a divorce proceeding, the parties must divide property, assets, debts, etc. A prenuptial agreement allows a couple to agree to the division in part or in full before entering into the marriage. There are of course many benefits and many risks with doing so. A prenup offers a security and clarity that would otherwise be lacking but can also cause you to have substantially fewer entitlements in a divorce proceeding. Whether or not a prenuptial agreement is beneficial will depend on the facts of each case, and in many cases, it is impossible to know on the front end.
In order to be effective, the prenuptial agreement must satisfy the Arkansas Premarital Agreement Act. This statute has numerous requirements that are necessary for a prenup to be enforced. For example, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. If the prenup does not meet the requirements of this law, then the Court may not enforce it in a divorce action. It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney if you are considering or preparing a prenuptial agreement.
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