Honolulu Premarital Agreement Lawyers
Drafting Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements
Our attorneys help you prepare for marriage by protecting your assets in
case the relationship ends prematurely. The premarital, or prenuptial,
agreement 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 Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL LLLC, we are aware of the increasing
popularity of these agreements and have the experience needed to sufficiently
protect your assets when establishing or enforcing a prenuptial agreement.
We have specially trained attorneys who have years of experience doing
this type of complex work, and each is ready to help you.
Contact one of experienced our attorneys to draft a pre- or postnuptial agreement tailored to protect you in the
case of a divorce. We serve clients in Oahu and neighboring islands.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 we are most commonly asked during consultations:
What are the benefits of a premarital agreement?
These agreements provide financial security and planning opportunities.
They allow you to predetermine property division and make your own decisions
about financial aspects and distribution of assets should the marriage
result in divorce. Prenuptial agreements also come into play in probate
court. They also tend to simplify a possible divorce, thereby reducing
attorney's fees and costs.
How do I know if I need a premarital agreement?
Many couples can benefit from a premarital agreement. You may benefit from one if:
- you have much greater assets, or earn much 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 want
to keep what you have amassed
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 premarital agreement protect me from my soon-to-be spouse’s debts?
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 premarital agreements legal and binding in the state of Hawaii?
Yes. They were authorized by statute. In 1987, the Hawaii Legislature passed
the “Uniform Pre-Marital 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 premarital 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 premarital 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 premarital agreement will benefit me, what should I do?
Call one of our experienced attorneys who has specifically trained in this
rather complex area of the law. We offer a free first consultation. Our
If you have any additional questions,
contact our experienced Honolulu premarital agreement attorneys today.