What Is the Indiana Prenuptial Agreement Statute, and Can It Help Me?

If you are going to be married and there are specific assets or holdings you wish to protect, filing a prenuptial agreement is the legally prudent thing to do. Of course, every prenuptial agreement (or prenup) differs, and if you want to ensure it is enforceable and done correctly, you must seek the counsel of an Indian prenup lawyer.

Many still believe that prenuptial agreements are only used if one or both spouses are wealthy. But in many cases, they can benefit almost all individuals.

Although we all expect and want a happy, long-term marriage, divorces are not uncommon in today’s world. According to recent statistics, more than one in every 500 marriages in the United States will end up in divorce court.

When this usually unpleasant event occurs, a valid and professionally drafted prenuptial agreement will usually help ensure a less contentious and costly divorce. 

Most of the rules and regulations pertaining to prenups in Indiana are contained in Indiana Code 31-11-3. These statutes are known as the Indiana “Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.”

These statutes explicitly detail what will happen (for specific assets, holdings, etc.) if your marriage ends in divorce or, at times, one of the spouses dies. 

Drafting a prenup is usually not a contentious situation. If drafted professionally by an experienced, compassionate Indiana prenup lawyer, it can give both you and your spouse the peace of mind of knowing that if your marriage doesn’t go as planned or one of you dies, your financial future and more can be relied on.

What Types of Things Can a Professionally Drafted Prenup Cover?

Indiana prenups are very legally flexible documents and can cover many decisions that may arise in your divorce.

One of the only things that cannot be decided on is that your prenup cannot contain any element that could adversely affect child custody or the child’s right to adequate support.

Some of the main topics that are discussed in Indiana prenups are;

  • The spouse’s rights to any property owned by either of them. This includes their right to sell, mortgage, or transfer the property, etc.
  • What do their rights include if they separate, divorce, die, etc.?
  • If they will receive alimony if they divorce.
  •  If one spouse dies, will the surviving spouse get the death benefits from the other’s life insurance?
  • If they’re from different states, which state’s law will interpret the agreement if there’s a dispute?
  • A host of issues can be discussed, as long as they don’t violate Indiana state prenup law.

What Can Cause an Indiana Prenup To Be Violated or Unenforceable?

Although prenups must be extremely detailed and specific, the actual legal technical requirements are minimal in most cases.

However, numerous “best practices” should be used to stop your prenup from becoming unenforceable.

The most standard requirement for a prenuptial agreement is that it be drafted according to Indiana State Law, in writing, and officially signed by both you and your spouse.

However, life changes over the years, and there are times when a prenuptial agreement can be contested once you file for divorce. This usually occurs because one spouse feels they leave the marriage in much worse financial shape than the other.

When this occurs, the court refers to the concept of “unconscionability” as described in the Indiana Code.

In part, this code usually refers to the following;

No Indiana prenup is enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that they did not execute the agreement voluntarily or the agreement was “unconscionable” when it was executed.

Unconscionability can be a vague concept, but it usually refers to a prenup that includes a gross or significant disparity that will preclude an award of spousal support.

Disparity usually refers to the difference in bargaining power between the spouses before marriage. Some examples of things that might be unequal are the spouse’s wealth, business knowledge and experience, education, having an attorney to advise them, and more.

So, to avoid these conflicts, some examples of the “best practices” you must use are; 

  • Use a professional prenup lawyer who is well-versed in Indiana prenup law when drafting your agreement.
  • Make sure you fully disclose your assets and debts to your future spouse.
  • Do not “surprise” your soon-to-be spouse with a prenuptial agreement shortly before your wedding.
  • Ensure your future spouse has sufficient time to review the document and possibly have their lawyer review it.
  • And many more items that may be unique to your circumstances.

The key takeaway you should keep in mind is that spending the time and money to set up a correct, professional, and in-depth pre-nuptial agreement may save you a vast amount if it ever must be used. So, having your prenup done by an experienced Indiana prenup family lawyer is almost always the most prudent and wise legal path to follow.

How Can a “Sunset Clause” Help Me In an Indiana Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenups are always usually set up for a “worst-case” scenario. However, if your agreement was executed 20 or 30 years ago, it may now seem profoundly outdated or unfair.

A “sunset clause” can significantly help solve this possible severe issue. In essence, sunset clauses cause your prenup to expire when specific conditions, periods, etc., are met.  

Sunset clauses can have varying forms; some examples are:

  • Putting a time limit on the agreements – This is usually one of the most common and straightforward sunset clauses. Simply put, your prenuptial agreement would terminate after a specific number of wedding anniversaries.
  • Types of milestone agreements – Specific events will cause your prenup to expire when they occur, such as the birth of your first child.
  • Types of action agreements – Here, your prenup will end when a specific action is completed by one or both spouses. For example, if either spouse engages in domestic violence, the prenup is null and void.

Your empathetic and well-versed Indian prenup family lawyer will explain that there are myriad ways to use the sunset clause, and it may well help both you and your spouse avoid conflict under almost all conditions.

I Must Have More Information About Indiana Prenups; What Should I Do?

Many divorce and family lawyers will admit that prenups are commonly never an easy subject to bring up or discuss. However, most knowledgeable Indiana divorce lawyers will explain that if you are considering a prenuptial agreement, you must have it well drafted, reviewed, and signed far before your marriage.

Also, consult your skilled divorce and prenup lawyer; you can ensure your wishes are clearly outlined, the prenup is done correctly, and it is fully enforceable.

The divorce and prenup lawyers at the Law Office of Deidra Haynes have a long and successful history of advising, representing, and passionately caring for Indiana prenup clients and providing the professional representation they deserve. Call them today at (317) 785-1832 and obtain a full consultation on your case. They will address all your prenup issues, ensure all your questions are answered, and protect all your rights.