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Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Court Rule 114 for Mediation and Arbitration



Prenuptial Agreements in Minnesota (Antenuptial Contracts)

Some basic information
In general usage, a prenuptial agreement is a document in which parties to a marriage establish terms which would apply in case their property is later divided at the time of a divorce, separation, or death. One party may seek to challenge the agreement if it appears to deprive the party of property to which he or she may be entitled under the laws which would otherwise govern the divorce, separation, or estate. In Minnesota, the prenuptial agreement is known as an "antenuptial contract." This type of agreement is also referred to by other names, such as a "premarital agreement" or, sometimes, a "pre-nup."

In Minnesota, parties may draw up an antenuptial agreement, but the agreement must be carefully prepared or it will not be enforceable in court later on. It is very important that each party consult an attorney well before the marriage. The attorney will discuss the obligations of the client and help assemble the information which that party needs to prepare.

In general, an antenuptial agreement will not be binding in Minnesota unless each party makes a full and fair disclosure of all earnings and property, each party has had an opportunity to consult with his or her own attorney before signing the agreement the document is prepared and signed before the wedding day, and the agreement comports with legal requirements for fairness. In addition, there are formal requirements governing the document, such as witnessing and notarization.

It is very important that each party have an attorney guide him or her and make certain that the agreement is drafted in accordance with the law. Mass-produced forms should never be used.

A great deal can be involved, and an attorney is absolutely necessary for each party.

Minnesota also recognizes an agreement entered into after the marriage. This less-known document is called a "postnuptial contract." These are subject to more restrictions than are the antenuptial agreements, and also must be carefully drafted with the assistance of 2 attorneys.

There are special rules for amending, filing, and using these documents.

These documents can be useful if they meet the needs of the parties. Each should contact his or her own attorney to discuss whether such a document would be appropriate and to make sure any document is professionally drafted. A party should also contact an attorney to determine the enforceability of such a document already in existence.



** ALWAYS HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT YOU IN THESE IMPORTANT AND COMPLEX MATTERS. **


GERALD HASSELBRINK, Attorney at Law
of the Minnesota Bar and United States District Court
Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Court Rule 114 for Mediation and Arbitration

INDEPENDENT, CONFIDENTIAL, LEGAL SERVICES
PRACTICING FAMILY LAW IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA


St. Cloud - St. Joseph, Minnesota
Phone (320) 251-0222 | (320) 363-0414

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