Marriage can often be an intimidating experience for many, particularly given the uncertainty of what the future will bring following the wedding day. Indeed, various concerns typically rush through one's head as he or she prepares for marriage. For instance, it is not uncommon for an individual to fret about whether his or her marriage will ultimately last for the long haul.
While there is no absolute way to guarantee the stability of a particular marriage, there are things that a couple can do to help alleviate concerns about what will happen should their union sadly end, such as drafting a prenuptial agreement. In fact, a prenuptial agreement typically provides a couple with the security of knowing how their property will be divided if they decide to split. Additionally, when these concerns are preemptively addressed through a prenuptial agreement, couples can spend more time working on their marriage and less time worrying about the unknown.
The enforceability of Alabama prenuptial agreements
One of the most important benefits of a well-drafted prenuptial agreement, which is also known as an antenuptial agreement in Alabama, is the ability to tackle issues of property division before they ever have an opportunity to occur. For example, if the marriage in question ends in divorce, a prenuptial agreement can designate the assets that go to each spouse, which can be extremely helpful in instances when an individual wants to protect family heirlooms or businesses.
However, it is important that a prenuptial agreement be drafted according to the law in order to be enforceable. In fact, while prenuptial agreements are generally valid under Alabama law, they will be scrutinized by the courts in order to determine their fairness. Thus, the spouse wishing to enforce a premarital agreement must satisfy one of the following two tests to be considered valid in Alabama:
- There was adequate consideration for the agreement, and the transaction was "fair, just and equitable" from the point of view of the other spouse
- The agreement was freely entered into by the other spouse with competent independent advice and with the full knowledge of the first spouse's financial estate and its value
Ultimately, however, the law in Alabama regarding prenuptial agreements can be quite complex, with several intricacies that must be observed in order to make the agreements enforceable.
Accordingly, if you are currently considering marriage and believe that a prenuptial agreement can provide you with the security you need before saying "I do," it is often best to consult with an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can explain the benefits of a prenuptial agreement as well as help draft this very important document.