Prenuptial agreements and their contents are often one of the most important decisions you and your future spouse will make prior to getting married. Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements used to carry a certain stigma, but in recent years have emerged as a savvy couple’s guiding document for separation of property in their marriage. Soon-to-be-married couples might need assistance with the terms they will abide by should they choose to divorce. A dependable and honest Nashville family law attorney can help you decide what is in your best interest.
What can the agreement cover?
In Tennessee, prenuptial agreements usually follow the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act of 1983, although there is a standalone Tennessee statute.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-501 (2007) recognizes prenuptial agreements and authorizes the courts to enforce them. These agreements can encompass many of the financial considerations and property divisions that might occur in the event of a divorce. Some of these include:
- The division of debts
- The division of assets
- The process by which retirement accounts or pension plans are separated, and the terms that govern this monetary division of property and assets
- Guidelines surrounding the creation of wills or trusts that enforce prenuptial decisions
- Which spouse, if any, will pay spousal support, how much, and via what means
- Each spouse’s ability to control businesses or property, both their own prior to the marriage and property acquired during the marriage
A prenuptial agreement in Tennessee must not be entered into under duress or coercion. Additionally, the courts have the jurisdiction to decide and govern child custody, parental visitation, and child support. These considerations will be made at the time of divorce, with the advocacy and representation of a Nashville divorce attorney.
The Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act
Most states follow the guidelines of the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act, which governs how these contracts function and ensures reciprocity across several states. Tennessee is one of those states. If you were married in the state of Tennessee and have a prenuptial agreement, or if you were married in any of the 47 states that have Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act reciprocity, the enforceability of your prenuptial agreement will be uniform across state lines.
Most prenuptial agreements are written and signed consensually and are therefore enforceable, but mitigating factors such as coercion, a lack of understanding, or duress might render your premarital contract unenforceable by a court of law. If you are concerned that your prenuptial agreement might not have been signed in good faith, you will want to retain the counsel of a Nashville divorce lawyer.
Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are experienced advocates and representatives for both parties in prenuptial agreement negotiations and divorces. We are well equipped to help you lend voice to your divorce case. Call us today at 615-391-4200 or contact us to reserve an in-person or video consultation.
Karla C. Miller has devoted her entire career to the practice of family law in Tennessee. She attended Auburn University and Nashville School of Law, and upon graduation in 1996, she opened her own law firm and has been assisting families throughout Tennessee since then. Learn more about Karla C. Miller here.