Prenuptial Agreement Laws and Requirements in Alabama
The thought of getting married is exciting, but it also brings a lot of future uncertainties. And while no one gets into marriage anticipating divorce, separation, or death of a partner, engaged couples want clarity about their financial situations should the unfortunate happen.
As such, the couples have to sign prenuptial agreement forms that outline their wishes for issues like alimony and property division. Every state has different rules about prenuptial agreements, and here we explain more about Alabama's prenuptial agreement requirements.
Alabama Prenuptial Agreement Laws
The Alabama prenuptial laws and agreement validity are directed by Ala.Code § 30-4-9 (2007) and Section 30-4-9. The couples are expected to sign written forms and exempt survivor rights under their last will.
The Alabama prenuptial laws dictate the spouses’ rights to sign the contracts, but they do not violate family and confidential documents.
What Do Prenup Agreements Cover?
Prenuptial agreements aim to offer direction on financial responsibilities in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse. It also determines if any spouses will pay alimony to the other during or after divorce.
The prenuptial agreement should highlight each spouse's assets and debts before marriage. This helps avoid disagreements when determining what each spouse owned or owned before the marriage during property division.
Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement makes it easy for couples to decide how to split the properties, income, and debts acquired during the marriage period. For instance, they may decide that any debts borrowed during the marriage will be split 50/50 or per each one's income. They may also choose to retain their retirement accounts after separation. These are the critical financial matters to include in a prenuptial agreement.
Who Should Sign Prenuptial Forms?
Prenuptial agreement forms should be signed by parties that give up their rights under the arrangement. It is more recommendable for the spouses to do it themselves and certify the agreement with a notary public.
What Dictates Prenuptial Agreement Enforcement in Alabama?
Many states have adopted the Uniform premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPMA) that outlines the rules required to make prenuptial agreements enforceable. But Alabama is not among those states. In Alabama, the prenuptial agreements must be written and signed by both spouses or the spouse giving up their rights, such as alimony.
Moreover, both spouses should disclose their debts and assets by attaching certified financial statements to the agreement. In Alabama, spouses are not obliged to give highly detailed breakdowns of their assets and debts. But they should at least offer a clear picture of their financial situations.
What Criteria Do Courts Use to Determine Prenuptial Agreement Validity?
If a prenup does not comply with the legislation, it may be deemed null and void. However, courts examine them to establish if they deserve reconsideration. The court considers if the agreement deals are fair and equitable in the second party's opinion and whether a spouse was fully aware of the other party's financial status, has sought legal advice, and still agrees with the prenuptial agreement.
What Makes a Prenuptial Agreement Invalid?
The court may refuse to accept the enforcement of a prenup if:
- Either of the spouses did not agree to the arrangements willingly
- One of the spouses is not willing to reveal critical information about their property and debts
- One of the spouses was not in agreement with the arrangement, and the law agrees that it is not fair
- Some financial details are missing or wrongly filed
- The agreement does not offer a clear picture of one of the spouses’ financial situation
- Immoral and insulting expectations from one party
- Giving unrealistic expectations and promises
- Use of unclear wording in the agreement form
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