Seattle Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Co-habitation Agreements Seattle prenuptial agreements are a good way to communicate your expectations regarding property to your fiancé before getting married. Although most people intuitively might think that Seattle prenuptial agreements communicate the wrong message before the big day, they can actually bring some relief and clarity if approached properly. In a divorce action, the court has the ability to divide all the property, separate and community, in a fair and equitable manner. By designating separate property prior to marriage, a Seattle prenuptial agreement memorializes the parties’ intentions. When one person has significant separate property before entering a marriage, the parties often do not know each other’s intentions and expectations until divorce is impending. Obviously, once a couple nears divorce, they are not often communicating as well as they could. Seattle prenuptial agreements can be drafted prior to marriage to make property issues clear before there is ever a dispute. Furthermore, while the parties themselves have the best idea about the substance of Seattle prenuptial agreements, in order to be effective Seattle prenuptial agreements must conform to legal standards. Thus, it may be wise to consult with an attorney who drafts Seattle prenuptial agreements to ensure the document’s effectiveness. Two basic issues arise when enforcing Seattle prenuptial agreements. First, only property issues may be addressed in such agreements. Child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance are precluded from Seattle prenuptial agreements because those are issues that are fact dependent, and facts change over time. Courts do not wish to leave families unsupported or children in the custody of a parent simply because of a Seattle prenuptial agreement. Second, the terms of the agreement must be fair, but more importantly, the process by which Seattle prenuptial agreements are entered must be fair. For example, courts have held that each party must have had the opportunity to consult with their own counsel prior to signing a Seattle prenuptial agreement. Furthermore, courts will not enforce a Seattle prenuptial agreement that suddenly appeared the night before the wedding.
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