Honolulu Premarital Agreement Lawyers
We know how exciting (yet stressful) it can be to plan a wedding. In between figuring out the guest list, catering, and band, it is wise to take some time to consider whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement. A premarital or prenuptial agreement, also known simply as a “prenup,” outlines the assets of each party and which of these assets they are entitled to keep as their own if they divorce.
At Coates Frey & Hackett, AAL LLLC, we know these agreements are increasing in popularity and have the experience needed to sufficiently protect your assets when establishing or enforcing a prenuptial agreement. We have specially trained prenup attorneys with years of experience doing this type of complex work, and each is ready to help you. Our Honolulu prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you prepare for marriage by protecting your assets if the relationship ends prematurely.
Contact our experienced prenuptial agreement lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement tailored to protect you in the case of a divorce. We serve clients in Oahu and neighboring islands.
Frequently Asked Questions – Prenuptial Agreements
Premarital agreements are becoming more common, though misinformation about the document is prevalent and confusion about the process still exists.
To offer some clarification and as a public service to you, here are some answers to the questions our prenuptial agreement attorneys are most commonly asked during consultations.
What are the benefits of a premarital agreement?
Prenups provide financial security and planning opportunities. They allow you to predetermine property division and make your own decisions about financial aspects and the distribution of assets should the marriage end.
Overall, prenups and postnups tend to make the legal side of dissolving a marriage easier, thereby reducing attorney fees and costs.
These agreements may also come into play in probate court.
How do I know if I need a prenuptial agreement?
Many couples can benefit from a premarital agreement. You may benefit from one if:
- You have more assets, or earn more money, than your partner
- Your partner is in substantial debt
- You own all or part of a business and want to avoid the cost and uncertainty of valuing, or losing, that business in a divorce
- You have rights as a beneficiary of a trust which you want to protect
- You may be required by a business or trust agreement to use a prenuptial agreement
- You have children from a prior marriage and wish to preserve your assets for them (especially in probate court)
- You and your partner each have substantial assets and each of you wants to keep what you have amassed
- You are making significant sacrifices to bolster your partner, such as by being a stay-at-home parent or putting your career on hold so that you can support your partner’s budding career
Are premarital agreements only for the wealthy?
No. Premarital agreements allow couples from all financial backgrounds to protect current assets, as well as any income they will acquire in the future.
Will a prenuptial agreement protect me from my soon-to-be spouse’s debts?
Most likely. It is best to consult a lawyer, as each case is different. The factors that make up the details surrounding these cases can influence these situations, but our goal will always be to defend you to the best of our ability.
Are premarital agreements useful in second marriages?
Absolutely. They are particularly useful to help preserve assets for your children from a first or earlier marriage.
Are prenuptial agreements legal and binding in the state of Hawaii?
Yes. They were authorized by statute. In 1987, the Hawaii Legislature passed the “Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.” The family court’s policy and trend is to uphold properly prepared premarital agreements.
What formalities exist for a premarital agreement to be binding?
The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties prior to the date of marriage. The premarital agreement will be of no effect if the marriage does not take place or if it is signed after marriage.
What types of agreements can be included in a prenuptial agreement?
A premarital agreement may include any financial agreement that does not violate public policy. These can include the allocation to one spouse or the other of any property such as real estate, stock or investment accounts, retirement plans, vehicles, businesses, debt and whether any spousal support would be paid.
Can the obligation to pay alimony be eliminated by a premarital agreement?
Yes, unless the elimination of spousal support causes one party to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance. Additionally, the court is still permitted to exercise discretion and apply equitable principles when dealing with alimony issues.
Are there any matters that you cannot address in a prenuptial agreement?
Yes, the parties cannot predetermine custody or child support.
What financial information must be disclosed?
All assets, debts, income and expenses must be disclosed. Additionally, it is prudent to mention contingent items such as the expectation of a substantial inheritance or the pendency of a lawsuit.
Can we decide to divide our property differently than it might be divided under Hawaii law by the family court?
Yes. This is precisely why many premarital agreements are made. You can create an agreement that is tailored to meet your specific needs. This is also true in probate court.
Do we need witnesses?
No, but generally, the attorneys also execute the agreement confirming their representation and the lack of any apparent coercion.
Can we amend the premarital agreement later?
Yes, but only in writing, signed by both parties.
If I am not sure whether a prenuptial agreement will benefit me, what should I do?
Call our experienced prenuptial agreements attorney who has specifically trained in this rather complex area of the law. We offer a free first consultation. Our number is 808-379-3538. If you have any additional questions, contact our experienced Honolulu premarital agreement attorneys online today.