A prenuptial agreement is an important legal document that can have a serious impact on how a divorce plays out. Prenuptial agreements in Minnesota are governed by statutes, and it is important to understand their implications. Any failure to abide by the laws may cause the agreement to be voided in a subsequent court proceeding.
Prenuptial agreements, also called antenuptial agreements, must be made prior to the date of marriage in order to be considered. The agreement must be made in writing and executed with two witnesses and before an authorized person. An informal agreement that is not executed in this way may not be admissible. The agreement must also be done by the spouse personally and not through a power of attorney. If property is included in the agreement, which it often is, then the document must also be recorded at the county office where that property is located or it may not be valid.
Sometimes, a couple may wish to alter their prenuptial agreement after the marriage. In order to do this, the couple must make a postnuptial agreement. It is important for couples to understand that any changes they wish to make to a prenuptial contract must be done through a separate postnuptial contract. That contract must also apply with the laws surrounding postnuptial contracts.
A postnuptial agreement can be used to augment or support any prenuptial agreement as circumstances in the relationship change after marriage, and it is a very useful tool. For example, one spouse started his own business after the marriage. This business, which he intends to run with minimal involvement from his spouse, was not included in the prenuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement could be made defining the business and its assets as the sole property of that spouse to ensure that if a divorce does occur the business will not be divided.
Source: The office of the Revisor of Statutes, “2013 Minnesota Statutes“, September 15, 2014
Kathy Newman has more than 35 years of experience in Pre-Marriage Considerations counseling faced by physicians throughout the Twin Cities area. Kathy and her team understand the applicable laws and legal nuances involved, and welcome the opportunity to support you through the process. Read more from our Pre-Marriage Considerations Blog.