Family Law Service

Agreeing to agree.

Prenuptial Agreements

Getting married changes a lot of things, including who will decide about certain financial aspects of your life in the event of divorce or death. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to vary the provisions that the law otherwise would allow for. A marrying couple wishing to formally agree to how they would like their finances handled can choose to do so via a prenuptial agreement.

Some life circumstances that may call for a prenuptial agreement include:

  • One member of the couple coming to the marriage with significant assets
  • The desire to separately provide for children of a previous marriage
  • The existence of a non corporate business or professional practice
  • The likelihood of a significant future inheritance

To be valid, prenuptial agreements must fulfill certain requirements to guarantee that they will be considered fair and proper to avoid future challenges in court. WFL helps clients construct prenuptial agreements that minimize the chances of being challenged. We also litigate unfair, improper prenuptial agreements.

Agreements to Live Together (Cohabitation Agreements)

Often couples will choose to live together without marriage. A written agreement acts to preclude any inference that their living arrangement actually constitutes a marriage. Although common law marriages are not validly entered into in New Mexico, they are in two of our neighboring states, Colorado and Texas. A valid common law marriage entered into in another state would be recognized in New Mexico. A written cohabitation agreement can prevent an inference of marriage developing from any activities in those states.

“Palimony” is recognized in New Mexico, if a mutual support arrangement has been reached by agreement, including an oral agreement, so long as it can be proven to exist. Written cohabitation agreements can preclude the inference of a palimony agreement.

Often agreements to live together are cohabitation agreements. There any many legal implications in using the term cohabitation, so that referring to these agreements as what they actually are, an agreement to live together, is legally preferable. Agreements to live together, besides clarifying the relationship as non marital and excluding the existence of a Palimony agreement, can be used to characterize property as either separate, or common.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial or marital agreements are entered into during the marriage and are a formalization of a couple’s intentions as to how to treat assets and liabilities. They vary considerably and are often based on the situation of particular couple. A post nuptial agreement can be used to formalize financial planning, outline estate wishes or to insulate one spouse from the debts of the other in the case of a risky business venture.

WFL attorneys are experienced in preparing legally sound postnuptial agreements.

If you require legal assistance in any of these areas and would like to schedule an appointment, please phone us at 505 889 8240 (Albuquerque) or 505 984 0097 (Santa Fe) or online through our contact form.