If either party is bringing assets into a marriage, a prenuptial agreement to protect those assets is a must. In these circumstances, it should not be thought of as a blueprint for your divorce, but a crucial part of your fiduciary duty to your investors, clients/customers and employees.
Generally, Arizona community property law is based on two simple tenets. Any and all property acquired during the marriage is community property (meaning that it is owned equally by both parties). All property acquired by one spouse either before the marriage, or by gift, devise or descent during the marriage, is that respective spouse’s sole and separate property.
Even under a separate property designation, if community funds (which include wages, income and increases in value during the marriage) were used to pay mortgage payments on separate property or community efforts were expended for the benefit of one spouse’s separate property, the community may still have an equitable lien against the equity or increase in value of the separate property in connection with these contributions. A well-drafted prenuptial agreement can protect both you and your business in the event of a divorce when your spouse would make a community equitable lien claim.
While discussing a prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be-spouse might not seem like the romantic thing to do, it is the practical, responsible thing to do.If you would like to discuss a prenuptial agreement with one of our experienced attorneys, contact Owens & Perkins at 480.994.8824 for a complimentary ½ hour consultation.