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Will Michigan courts uphold a premarital agreement?

When you and your spouse first decided to get married in Michigan, you had some concerns about the way the state divides marital property in a divorce. The two of you agreed that you would not be the primary wage earner, and you worried that in a divorce, you would not be treated fairly because of your decision.

A premarital agreement that you will split everything equally instead may have seemed like a perfect solution at the time, but now that you are facing divorce, your spouse has told you that the agreement will not hold up in court. Could this really happen?

According to the Detroit Legal News, your premarital agreement could indeed be invalid. The court requires this document to be fair to both you and your spouse, and so the terms of it could be held in question if they seem seriously imbalanced.

In a recent Michigan case, one spouse attempted to claim that the prenuptial agreement that was signed before the marriage was unconscionable. The terms of the contract stated that, although Michigan is an equitable division state, the spouses would split their property equally, 50-50. The spouse also argued that the circumstances had changed so significantly during the marriage, that the agreement was not fair or reasonable.

The circuit court held that the agreement should be upheld. However, upon appeal, the appellate court determined that the state's laws gave the court the authority to divide the property equitably in spite of the contract. 

Because premarital agreements and circumstances are unique, and laws change, this educational information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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