MARITAL LAW ATTORNEYS AND PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Serving Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Overton, Moapa Valley, Mesquite, Laughlin and all of Clark County, Nevada
Before you get married, consider the benefits of entering into a prenuptial agreement (often called the “premarital agreement” or “prenup contract” in Nevada). Although you can find prenup forms and sample contracts online, it is best to set down with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your goals.
The attorneys at Mills & Anderson are experienced in drafting a premarital agreement for our clients before the marriage. We also help our clients understand the best way to comply with the requirement of making a full and fair disclosure of assets prior to execution of the agreement.
Premarital agreements are particularly common when one or both of the spouses has previously been divorced, has a higher income or has accumulated substantial assets prior to the marriage. Individuals with children from a prior marriage are also concerned with protecting their separate property so that a portion of the estate is preserved for their children.
A well-drafted prenuptial agreement goes hand in hand with estate planning that should take place before the marriage. We also represent many business owners who want a prenuptial agreement to reduce the problems associated with litigation in the event of a divorce that might disrupt the business or the other partners in the business.
In addition to drafting prenuptial agreements for our clients, we are experienced in handling a divorce that involves enforcing or contesting a prenuptial agreement. When entering into a prenuptial agreement, the fiancés share a confidential, fiduciary relationship with each other. Therefore, each person has a responsibility to act with good faith and fairness to the other.
Such a responsibility contemplates that each party will make a full and fair disclosure prior to the execution of a premarital agreement in Nevada. If either party shirks this responsibility then the district court must declare the provisions of the premarital agreement unenforceable.
Call us to find out the best ways to present the prenuptial agreement to your fiancee. The law requires that each side has adequate time to review and sign the agreement. Although no specific time period is required, it is better to sign the agreement months before the wedding instead of in the weeks or days before the wedding. It is also important for the other side to seek out their own legal advice before signing the agreement.
Learn more about the things you should take into consideration when drafting the prenup. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (702) 386-0030 to schedule a confidential consultation today.
Enforcing Prenuptial Agreements in Nevada under NRS 123A.080
Under Nevada law, a premarital agreement entered into before October 1, 1989, is enforceable if the agreement conforms with either the requirements of NRS Chapter 123A, the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (“UPAA”), or Nevada common law. See NRS 123A.080(3).
The definition section of NRS 123A.030 defines the term “premarital agreement” to mean “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” The parties can also enter into a post-nuptial or post-marital agreement, although different provisions of Nevada law apply to those types of agreements.
Pursuant to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (“UPAA”), a premarital agreement is enforceable without consideration if it is in writing and signed by both parties. See NRS 123A.040. The premarital agreement can provide for many things, including the elimination of alimony. NRS 123A.050. In other cases, the agreement will provide for a minimum or maximum amount of alimony to be paid in the event of a divorce with certain factors triggering the amount to be paid.
A prenuptial agreement will not be enforced by the court if it was “unconscionable” at execution, involuntarily signed, or the parties did not fully disclose their assets and obligations before the agreement’s execution. NRS 123A.080.
Common Law Requirements for Prenuptial Agreements in Nevada
Under the common law in Nevada, a prenuptial agreement is enforceable unless it is “unconscionable, obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, material non-disclosure or duress.” Buettner v. Buettner, 89 Nev. 39, 45, 505 P.2d 600, 604 (1973). The courts found that one overcomes the presumption of invalidity by showing that the disadvantaged party:
- had ample opportunity to consult an attorney;
- was not coerced;
- possessed substantial business acumen; and
- understood the financial resources of the other party and the rights being forfeited under the agreement.
Common Provisions in a Premarital Agreement in Nevada
Under Nevada law, general provisions in a premarital agreement can include:
- prohibiting or limiting alimony;
- provisions disclosing the separate assets and obligations of each spouse;
- provisions for dividing property earned during the marriage in the event of a divorce;
- asset management during the marriage;
- responsibility for debt incurred during the marriage;
- provisions to protect a business owned by one spouse;
- prohibiting an award of attorney fees to either party; and
- specific indemnity provision entitled a prevailing party to recover costs, including attorney fees, from the party challenging the validity of the agreement.
Limitations on Premarital Agreements in Nevada
Under NRS 123A.080(2), the courts in Nevada will not enforce a provision of a premarital agreement that modifies or eliminates alimony or support or maintenance of a spouse, if that agreement would cause one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or marital dissolution. In those cases, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, the judge may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid eligibility for public assistance.
The court may also refuse to enforce the premarital agreement when the court finds that the prenuptial or premarital agreement is unconscionable as a matter of law.
NRS 123A.080 for Marital Agreements in Nevada – Visit the website of the Nevada Legislature to read more about the statutory provisions of NRS 123A.080 which governs the enforcement of prenuptial agreements in Nevada. The statute, NRS 123A.080, provides that a premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that:
(a) That party did not execute the agreement voluntarily;
(b) The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed; or
(c) Before execution of the agreement, that party:
(1) Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
(2) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
(3) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (“UPAA”) – A study by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws found that in 2005, at least 26 states had agreed to honor the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (known as “UPAA”). The UPAA encourages the enforcement of premarital agreements and permits married couples to select the specific state law under which their agreements will be interpreted.
Finding a Prenuptial Agreement Attorney in Las Vegas, NV
Contact the family law attorneys at Mills & Anderson if you would like to draft a premarital agreement or if your fiancé has presented you with such an agreement. We can help you understands the pros and cons to each side when signing a prenuptial or premarital agreement. We can make sure that the parties comply with all of the requirements so that the agreement will be enforced by the court in the event either party files for a divorce.
Our attorneys are experienced in representing high income and high net worth individuals in a divorce, let us talk with you about the pros and cons of signing a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, especially for high net worth individuals, or the owners of a business or closely-held corporation. The divorce attorneys in Las Vegas, NV, at Mills & Anderson can help you through this process. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (702) 386-0030 today to discuss your case.