Although some Arizona residents may feel uncomfortable bringing up the issue of a premarital agreement, discussing one may provide a spouse with some protection in the event that the marriage does not work out. KTAR News and Associated Press reported on a family judge’s decision to uphold a premarital agreement made between an award-winning newspaper publisher and his wife. The husband attempted to cancel their prenuptial agreement by accusing his wife of marrying him “only for his money.”
The matter involving the publisher revolved around his signed guarantee, which was written into the premarital agreement, that if the couple were to divorce, he would pay his soon-to-be-ex-wife $900,000. After using his newspapers to print allegations of his wife trying to poison him, the publisher sought to legally invalidate their agreement. When that didn’t work, he tried to officially annul their eight-year marriage.
In Arizona, an annulment means that the existence of a marriage is not recognized by a court of law. In this case, an invalidated marriage might make it difficult for a spouse to ask for financial support from an ex. In the case of the newspaper publisher, when he petitioned the court for an annulment, he may have had false hopes that it would negate the prenuptial agreement that he signed. The judge, however, did not approve of his request for an annulment. The couple was instead made to enter into a legal divorce proceeding. The family judge also upheld the terms of the premarital agreement specifying that the publisher would pay his divorced wife the sum of $900,000.
While it is not uncommon for a spouse-to-be with a profitable business to enter into a prenuptial agreement, there are a variety of issues that anyone might wish to consider. As detailed by a personal finance advisor in Forbes magazine, a postnuptial agreement might help strengthen the relationship, or it may prevent an ugly property battle if the marriage does not work out.