Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton, Ohio are more common now than they were many years ago. In the past, the courts reflected the attitude of society that viewed such agreements as in conflict with the sanctity and intimacy associated with the marital relationship. As society evolved through the years, the realization that marriage is a contractual agreement with complex financial aspects forced states to enforce prenuptial agreements.
The advantages associated with a married or soon to be married couple taking the time to consider the financial aspects of their relationship are outweighed by the notion that such agreements intrude on the intimacy of the marital bond. A prenuptial agreement prepared and signed prior to marriage can help a couple to avoid conflicts during and after the marriage or in the event of a divorce or separation.
Prenuptial Agreements in Ohio
Prenuptial agreements in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton are written contracts between two people prior to marriage. Prenuptial agreements typically identify property or assets owned by each of the parties and property they own together.
Prenuptial agreements offer the parties the opportunity to identify the rights each of them will have regarding the assets mentioned in the agreement and future assets and earnings. A prenuptial agreement usually provides for the disposition of the identified assets in the event the marriage is terminated by divorce, annulment, dissolution, or if the parties agree to separate without terminating the marriage. It can also include a waiver, and may specify the amount of spousal support in the event of divorce or separation.
Postnuptial Agreements in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton
Postnuptial agreements in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton are more problematic due to the current law in Ohio. Section 3103.06 of the Ohio Revised Code states that a married couple cannot enter into an agreement with each other that will alter their legal relations other than a separation agreement to take effect immediately.
Despite the apparent prohibition on the enforcement of postnuptial agreements in the state, courts in Ohio have enforced such agreements executed during the marriage they are executed in conjunction with the decision by the parties to separate. Other courts have enforced written agreements entered into by the parties after the marriage if it is proven that it was written confirmation of the terms of an oral prenuptial agreement.
The best course of action for a couple desiring to have a prenuptial agreement is to contact a Medina family law attorney at the Law Offices of Parker & Erb, LLC to have one prepared and signed prior to the marriage. Relying on an oral agreement made prior to the marriage to be enforced by the courts in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton when it is reduced to writing after the marriage has already been solemnized can be risky given the current state of Ohio law regarding postnuptial agreements.
Entering into Prenuptial Agreements
Because prenuptial agreements can affect an individual’s property rights and entitlement to spousal support, courts that are asked to enforce them will scrutinize them carefully. Essential elements of an enforceable prenuptial agreement include:
- Evidence of full disclosure of all assets and liabilities
- Proof that each of the parties were represented by attorneys of their own choosing, or both parties had the opportunity to consult with an attorney before entering into the agreement
- Neither party threatened, coerced or unduly influenced the other to enter into the agreement
A Medina, Wooster, and North Canton prenuptial agreement that includes provisions for custody or support of children will be enforced only if a court is satisfied that such provisions are in the best interest of the children. Courts in Ohio retain the right to ignore agreements between spouses if a judge believes such agreements are in conflict with a child’s best interest.
Raising the Issue of a Prenuptial Agreement
Broaching the subject of a prenuptial agreement in the midst of planning a wedding and honeymoon can be difficult. Asking someone to sign an agreement relinquishing rights to property or support in the event of a divorce, annulment or separation might appear cold and untrusting. Engaging in a conversation about the financial aspects of marriage should be seen as a willingness and desire to be open and frank about the relationship.
Consult a Medina, Wooster, and North Canton Family Law Attorney
The complexities of the law in Medina, Wooster, and North Canton, Ohio, pertaining to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements require the services of a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney. For answers to your questions and concerns about prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, contact the Law Office of Parker & Erb, LLC at 330.725.4114.