Divorces are on the rise throughout the United States and Mississippi. In fact, a study in 2013 by Bowling Green University found the divorce rate in Mississippi to be the third highest in the country. While that’s no reason to doubt your personal relationships or put such an important life decision as marriage on hold, it does have more and more brides and grooms to-be thinking about prenuptial agreements. At The Wade Law Firm, PLLC, we are here to help.
Often referred to as a “prenup,” these agreements are entered into before a marriage takes place, and is most well-known for resolving how any assets may be divided in the less-than-likely event of a divorce. But prenuptial agreements can also be utilized to decide how or whether spouses can sell or use each other’s property, or just about anything else the couple agrees upon. Once a staple of the “rich and famous,” a prenuptial agreement can be a smart idea for many couples – regardless of income.
So what makes for a valid prenup?
First, know that these agreements aren’t governed by any specific statute or law. Essentially, these agreements are treated like any other contract. That is, the spouses-to-be may enter into any agreement which is legal and does not violate any significant public policy of the State of Mississippi. But, to be enforceable, the agreement must be written and entered into by both parties prior to an anticipated marriage which then comes to fruition. Also, both parties will have to be mentally capable to understand and enter into the agreement at the time of its creation.
That said, there are some things that a prenuptial agreement cannot do. First, the agreement must be conscionable – containing provisions and agreements that are not immoral or unreasonably unfair to one or both parties. And in spite of the sneaky stories you may have heard regarding prenups, an agreement in which one or both parties don’t fully disclose their assets will unlikely be honored. These are not the place for “clever” hiding of assets in order to trick a new spouse out of property of financial interests which may be owed them.
Finally, child custody is not an issue that may be decided using a prenuptial agreement – it’s just too important. As we’ve covered previously on our blog, these matters are always decided “in the best interests of the child,” possibly in spite of the wishes of one or both spouses.
Once a prenuptial agreement is executed, it’s necessary to file the agreement with the Chancery Court. This will ensure that the agreement is available to the court and accepted as legitimate should it be needed later. As you may have guessed, the various important issues subject to a prenuptial agreement are issues you’ll want to address with the help of an experienced and trusted attorney.
Would you like to discuss whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for you? Do you need help enforcing one or navigating related Family Law issues?
Get in touch with Mississippi Attorney Vangela M. Wade at 601-790-0043 or fill out our short contact form to arrange an affordable consultation. The Wade Law Firm, PLLC has been providing quality legal services for 18 years. We are zealous advocates for our clients and look forward to hearing from you.