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What are the general rules for Minnesota prenuptial agreements?

Traditional thinking once held that when a couple finally decided to tie the knot and get married, the last thing they should consider was divorce. Times have changed, and with the change in time, so has the average structure of most families. Today, it is not uncommon for individuals to remarry two or three times throughout the course of their lives.

In many cases, individuals looking to get remarried may have children from previous marriages as well as assets and property. A prenuptial agreement with your new spouse is a good way to protect those assets and property for your children's future.

Additionally, second marriages sometimes occur between people with significantly different finances. For example, a spouse with a greater net worth may wish to limit the amount of spousal support they may have to pay upon divorce. Alternatively, a prenuptial agreement can ensure that a spouse with a weaker financial outlook would not suffer unduly should the couple decide to part ways.

Business ownership and other corporate interests can also be a concern in premarital agreement discussions. A spouse who owns a business they have built over the course of many years may wish to ensure the future well-being of their employees. A prenuptial agreement between the future couple could preserve the business and keep it intact despite a dissolution of marriage.

Minnesota state statute 519.11 allows for couples to enter into prenuptial agreements under the following conditions:

-- The agreement between the parties must be in writing and formed by parties of legal age.

-- The prenuptial agreement must be executed before the wedding day.

-- The parties must not conceal from each other the true nature of their assets, debts or earnings.

-- Neither party should be pressured into signing the agreement. For example, both parties should have ample time to consult with an attorney prior to the execution of the contract.

-- Two people must witness the signing of the prenuptial agreement, and the document must be notarized.

As you can see, Minnesota considers the forming of a prenuptial agreement a serious affair. That's because there is the real potential for serious financial harm if the formation of the prenuptial agreement is not done correctly. Residents who are considering drafting a prenuptial agreement are therefore encouraged to consult first with their attorneys regarding this most important document.

Source: The Office of the Revisor of Statues, "2013 Minnesota Statutes 519.11 Antenuptial and Postnuptial Contracts" Aug. 27, 2014

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