What Is The Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act?
The Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act is Utah’s pre-nuptial agreement statute, which sets forth the expectations for what will be included in a valid pre-marital agreement and aims to provide fairness to both parties involved. The Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act requires that pre-nuptial agreements be in writing, and that revocations or amendments to them must be signed by both parties. The act includes protections in the event that one party commits fraud or deception in the making of a pre-marital agreement and dictates that pre-marital agreements be enforceable “without consideration,” which means that one party will not have to give up something important in exchange for the agreement.
What Must A Pre-Marital Agreement Contain?
A pre-marital agreement must contain: an accounting of the property that belongs to each party; the way in which that property was acquired; who has the right to use, sell, manage or dispose of that property; and to whom that property will go upon separation or dissolution of the marriage, death of the parties of the marriage (or the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other event that the parties may want to specify, such as infidelity).
Pre-marital agreements can contain provisions regarding spousal support or alimony, such as the conditions under which it would be eliminated. They can also contain a “choice of law” provision, meaning the laws of a particular state or country will construe or apply to the agreement. For example, two parties could agree that the laws of New Guinea or Texas will apply to the agreement involving a Utah divorce and pre-nuptial agreement. The parties can include any provision so long as it does not violate public policy or criminal statutes, and so long as it is in writing and signed by both parties.
Can A Pre-Nuptial Agreement Determine Child Custody, Child Support, And Alimony In Utah?
Since the right to child support belongs to the child and not the parents of that child, it cannot be contracted away by the parents through a pre-nuptial agreement.
Custody determinations made by the court are based on what’s in the child’s best interest at the time of the divorce, which means that the court may not abide by a custody determination that was made by the parties prior to the marriage. This follows from the idea that neither the court not the parties could possibly determine what will be in a child’s best interest at the dissolution of marriage years prior to the actual dissolution. For example, if one party becomes a child sex offender years after making a custody arrangement that granted them custody, the court would not abide a premarital agreement giving that party custody. There is plenty of case law stating a court must make a fresh “best-interests” determination when it awards custody at the time of the divorce.
How Can I Ensure That My Pre-Nuptial Agreement Is Enforceable In Utah?
An individual can ensure that their pre-nuptial agreement is enforceable in Utah by ensuring that it is in compliance with the terms of the Pre-Marital Agreement Act, as well as free from fraud, misrepresentation, coercion, and failure to disclose important facts prior to the signing of the agreement.
When Does A Pre-Marital Agreement Become Effective Or Binding?
A pre-marital agreement becomes effective or binding on the date of the marriage.
Does A Pre-Nuptial Or Post-Nuptial Agreement Make Sense For Me?
Whether or not a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement will make sense for someone is a very fact-sensitive question, the answer to which can only be determined by the marriage of the parties, the risk of divorce, the amount of property at stake, and a variety of other factors. For example, a pre-nuptial agreement would make a lot more sense for a marriage involving a multi-millionaire who has already been divorced six times than it would for a marriage between two people in their twenties who don’t have many assets.
It’s difficult to discuss the possibility of divorce when parties are courting because at that point they wish to share trust with one another in order to solidify their relationship. As a result, it is a balancing act that each couple must come to on their own, unless the facts very obviously warrant a pre-nuptial agreement, or there is an acknowledged tension surrounding the prospect of a successful relationship. If there is a lot to lose financially and/or there is a high risk of divorce, then a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement can make more sense. It is important to note that post-nuptial agreements can be reached after marriage and are subject to essentially the same conditions as pre-nuptial agreements.