A prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement) is a contract that addresses property and other marital issues. It's made prior to the marriage but becomes effective upon marriage. These agreements can also designate responsibilities during the marriage, such as household duties and financial responsibilities for each spouse. Many engaged couples consider prenups, especially if they bring many personal and business assets to the marriage.
Arizona Prenuptial Agreements at a Glance
Because of the way that statutes are written, it's sometimes difficult to understand every detail. You can get help with this by consulting with an attorney and by reading a plain language version of the content. See the chart below to learn more about the law that governs Arizona prenuptial agreements.
Arizona Revised Statutes:
- Section 25-201 (definitions)
- Section 25-202 (enforcement of premarital agreements)
- Section 25-203 (scope of the agreement)
- Section 25-204 (amendment or revocation of agreement)
- Section 25-205 (limitation of actions)
What Can and Can't be Included in the Prenup
Prenuptial agreements can't resolve every issue. Arizona law limits the scope of prenups and determines what can and can't be included in the agreement.
Agreements may include the following:
- The rights and obligations of each spouse regarding separate or community property, whenever and wherever acquired or located;
- The right to: buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- The disposition of property upon separation or divorce, or when one spouse dies, or upon occurrence of some other meaningful event;
- The modification or elimination of spousal support;
- The creation of Last Wills and Testaments, trusts, or other arrangements necessary to carry out the objectives of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in and distribution of the death benefit from a life insurance policy; and
- Choice of law decisions for the agreement.
Agreements may not include matters that:
- Include terms contrary to public policy;
- Involve a crime; or
- Adversely affect a child's rights for child support.
After the marriage, you can update your prenup with a postnuptial agreement.
However, the prenup may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by both parties; the amended agreement is enforceable without consideration.
If a party wants to invalidate the agreement, they can claim the following:
- That they didn't sign the prenup voluntarily; or
- The prenup was so unfair that it was unconscionable when it was executed.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Related Resources for Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
Considering a Prenuptial Agreement? Connect with an Attorney
If you're considering a prenuptial agreement or have a dispute over an existing prenup, then you should speak with an experienced attorney who can help with these issues. Connect with an Arizona family law attorney located near you today to learn more.