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Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act Overview

Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act Overview

Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act Overview

What is the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act?

Adopted by 26 states, the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1983 to bring consistency to contracts signed by two parties entering a marriage. The act allows parties to a prenuptial agreement to choose the applicable state’s statutes for marital law.

Key Takeaways

  • The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act determines when and how prenuptial agreements should be enforced.
  • The act allows parties to a prenup to choose which state’s marriage laws apply, such as property division and spousal support.
  • The act is only enforceable if all parties enter the premarital agreement voluntarily and if the removal of spousal support would not result in the other party’s reliance on government assistance.

Understanding the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act

The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act enables parties to create financial terms they both agree upon, subject to certain limitations. The act requires state review based on circumstances at the time of the agreement to ensure minimal fairness standards. If an agreement places one party in financial jeopardy, a state can refuse to enforce it. The act also addresses burden of proof and waiver or modification of rights at divorce or death.

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The act aims to provide courts with flexibility in making rulings on family law cases and give individuals confidence that their premarital agreement will be enforceable and how it will be enforced.

The act applies to both premarital and postnuptial agreements, treating postnuptial agreements with the same requirements and principles as premarital agreements. Some states, however, apply different legal standards to each, placing higher burdens on postnuptial agreements.

Prenups and the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act

Prenuptial agreements commonly address property division, spousal support, child custody, and provisions for asset forfeiture in cases of adultery. Parties can choose the state under whose jurisdiction the agreement will be enforced based on residence, future residence plans, or the state where the marriage will take place. However, they are limited to states that have passed the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act.

Choosing a state that has passed the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act offers advantages, such as comprehensive provisions to address issues related to prenuptial agreements like estate planning, property division, alimony, financial assets, and custody. In other states, rulings on these situations may be less stable due to reliance on case law.

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