In Michigan, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal binding contracts. The main difference between the two is when two people enter into these agreements. Prenuptial agreements are entered prior to a marriage, where postnuptial agreements are entered after the couple is married. No longer a tool for the wealthy, many blended families are using prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to preserve family assets for their children born from a prior marriage while providing for a new spouse. These agreements are useful for estate planning purposes as well as deciding ahead of time what assets will remain separate property.

In order to be valid and enforceable under Michigan law, these agreements must have been entered without fraud, duress, mistake, misrepresentation or failure to disclose a material fact. It cannot be unconscionable when executed. The facts and circumstances cannot have materially changed since the agreement was executed to the point that enforcement of the agreement would be unfair and unreasonable. It is prudent that each party have a separate attorney review the agreement to ensure that it is fair and meets these requirements when the agreement is executed.

Because the reasons for wanting to execute a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is best to discuss the benefits and disadvantages with an experienced attorney.

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