How Does Filing Bankruptcy Affect a Prenuptial Agreement?

When one person owns a considerable amount of assets such as money, property or business investments, this individual may feel more secure about getting married if a prenuptial agreement is filed prior to the marriage. “Pre-nups” are documents detailing how everything would be divided legally if the marriage ended in divorce or if the spouse owning most of the assets would die first. Prenuptial agreements can also define perimeters of spousal and/or child support payments, child custody arrangements and aspects of the last will and testament that states inheritance rights.

According to NOLO Legal Encyclopedia, some states call a prenuptial agreement a prenuptial “contract” or “antenuptial agreement”. Generally, prenuptial agreements are desired by one or sometimes both spouses when either one has experienced previous marriages ending in messy and expensive divorces. By implementing a pre-nup, the individual who is “once-bitten, twice-shy” should not be subjected to outlandish spousal support or property acquisition demands made by his or her spouse if a divorce in the event a divorce is initiated.

However, even though prenuptial contracts are legally binding according to the federal Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, protection provided by such a contract from creditor actions during bankruptcy is questionable. In other words, the spouse who does not file bankruptcy is not guaranteed immunity from any Arizona bankruptcy court proceedings just because a prenuptial agreement exists.

Additionally, divorcing couples residing in “community property” states may both be subjected to creditor harassment even if only one spouse files bankruptcy, regardless of the legality of any prenuptial contract. If you implemented a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage and are getting a divorce but your soon-to-be-ex-spouse plans to file for bankruptcy in Arizona, immediately contact a professional and experienced Glendale Arizona bankruptcy lawyer who will ensure that you are protected from creditor demands and any presumed liability for your spouse’s debts.