Arizona Premarital Agreement Law


Marriage – Premarital Agreements – Arizona

Sometimes there are areas of law about which Uniform Acts are written and adopted by the various states.  Premarital Agreements is such an area of law.

The NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF COMMISSIONERS ON UNIFORM STATE LAWS adopted the final version of the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act in 1983.  Since that date, the act, as modified by the various states, has been adopted in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,  Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  At the heart of the act is the provision which provides that such an agreement is generally valid if in writing and sets forth the factors to consider if the agreement is challenged.

Arizona

Definitions:
In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. “Premarital agreement” means an agreement between prospective spouses that is made in contemplation of marriage and that is effective on marriage.
2. “Property” means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.§ 25-201.

Enforcement of premarital agreements;  exception:

A. A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement is enforceable without consideration.
B. The agreement becomes effective on marriage of the parties.
C. The agreement is not enforceable if the person against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following:

1. The person did not execute the agreement voluntarily.
2. The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and before execution of the agreement that person:

(a) Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
(b) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided.
(c) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

D. If a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support and that modification or elimination causes one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or marital dissolution, a court, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid that eligibility.
E. An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.
F. If a marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.§ 25-202.

Scope of agreement:

A. Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located.
2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign or create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of or otherwise manage and control property.
3. The disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.
4. The modification or elimination of spousal support.
5. The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.
6. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.
7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.
8. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

B. The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.§ 25-203.

Amendment or revocation of agreement:
After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without consideration.§ 25-204.

Limitation of actions:
A statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the marriage of the parties to the agreement.  However, equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel, are available to either party.§ 25-205.

Advantages of premarital agreements for both parties:

Avoiding Litigation Costs
Protecting against Fears of Family Members
Protecting Family Assets
Protecting Business Assets
Protection Against Creditors
Child Custody and Support Guidlines
Predetermined Disposition of Property

Disclaimer:
This law summary is not legal advice. If you are not an attorney, you should consult an attorney about serious legal matters.