Prenups (prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements) carry a stigma, but can be a very useful tool. Its benefits include minimizing the possibility of lengthy and costly divorce litigation if the marriage unfortunately ends in divorce, and it can also help families eliminate litigation in the event of a loved one’s sudden passing.
Benefits of a Prenup
There are a number of reasons why soon-to-be newlyweds want a premarital agreement. The most common reasons are to protect a family business, protect assets that were acquired before the marriage, protect the desired asset distribution to children of a previous marriage, to determine spousal support in the event of divorce, or any combination of these reasons. Certainly this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives some idea of the goals behind premarital agreements.
Prenups in Missouri
While Missouri does not have a specific premarital agreement act, the state does enforce premarital agreements.
Prenups in Kansas
In Kansas there is a law controlling prenups: the Kansas Premarital Agreement Act. Kansas courts typically construe the act in a manner that seeks to carry out the parties’ true intent.
Are Prenups Enforceable?
Generally, to have an enforceable premarital agreement in either Missouri or Kansas, the parties must have capacity to enter into the agreement, the agreement must be in writing, and the parties must have signed the agreement voluntarily.
Neither Kansas nor Missouri will enforce an unconscionable premarital agreement. Common ways to avoid that pitfall is through a full disclosure of assets or through an adequate waiver of disclosure of assets. Questions over the adequacy of a disclosure, or the enforceability of a waiver, are excellent reasons for each party to have their own attorney to review the agreement. It is important to understand that if the prenup contains any provisions regarding minor children, the courts are obligated to scrutinize whether those provisions are in the children’s best interests.
If you need a premarital agreement drafted, or if you need a premarital agreement reviewed by a qualified attorney before you sign it, please contact The Flynn Law Firm. Our experienced family law attorneys can assist you in the review of a proposed premarital agreement, or prepare an entire premarital agreement tailored to your unique needs.