Drafting a Valid Premarital Agreement in Maryland
Following an accepted proposal, couples are often inundated with a host of decisions for planning the day of the wedding. Although colors, food, centerpieces and bridesmaid dresses are important, plans for the weeks and years after the wedding are often put aside. Financial planning and conducting an inventory of each spouse’s possessions is a relevant component in a marriage. Protecting assets in the event of a divorce is critical, because more than 50 percent of marriages in the United States are terminated.
How to determine validity?
A couple anticipating marriage may conceive a premarital agreement, which is enforceable once the ceremony occurs. If it is drafted in accordance with substantive requirements, a premarital agreement offers assurance that property interests are protected. Under Maryland’s Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreement Act, an agreement is required to be in writing and signed by the parties to be enforceable and must adhere to the following requirements:
- Both parties must enter the agreement voluntarily.
- Terms of the agreement must not be unconscionable.
- Both spouses must provide full and fair disclosure of their financial status.
If a party was provided adequate time to review the proposed agreement, understands the terms of the contract, and has independent counsel, then there is sufficient evidence that a party entered into the agreement voluntarily. Full and fair disclosure of assets is provided if each party has sufficient information to comprehend the nature and extent of the other party’s financial resources. By formulating a premarital agreement with a family law attorney, a couple may prevent an expensive battle in divorce court concerning the division of property.
Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. provides comprehensive advice about premarital agreements. The firm’s seasoned professionals represent clients throughout southern Maryland.