The dissolution of a marriage is typically an emotional and stressful experience, even when the decision to get divorced is mutual. When two people spend years sharing space, chores, and financial responsibilities, and possibly raising children together, an end to this arrangement rarely comes without some difficulty. When significant wealth and assets are involved, the stakes can be particularly high.
One way to preemptively mitigate problems related to the division of assets and property in a divorce is to obtain a prenuptial agreement before marriage. A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a prenup, is a legal document stipulating the property rights of both spouses in the event of a divorce.
Whether you are considering a prenuptial agreement before marriage, or you have an existing prenup and an impending divorce, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel from a prenuptial agreement lawyer with extensive experience in this specific area.
At The Sands Law Group APLC, our highly-skilled, knowledgeable Honolulu prenuptial agreement lawyers will guide you through this process in the least painful, and most economical way possible. We provide premier legal services at an affordable rate and a multi-lingual staff who can communicate with clients in five languages: Hebrew, French, Arabic, Spanish, and English. Contact The Sands Law Group APLC today for a confidential consultation about your case.
Prenuptial Agreement Laws in Hawaii
Married couples sometimes hold jointly-owned property, such as vehicles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, the family home, a vacation home, and even a business. If they divorce, both jointly-owned property and property in only one spouse’s name must be divided, and there are very specific laws in Hawaii stipulating exactly how this is to be done.
In some cases, the couple will agree on how to divide assets, and the process will be less complex and contentious. More often than not, however, there is some debate over who gets what, and sometimes this “debate” can get quite messy. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Honolulu prenuptial agreement lawyer, property division in a divorce doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Hawaii Property Division Laws
Hawaii is an equitable distribution state, which means that assets purchased or acquired both during and before the marriage may be subject to property division laws when a couple gets divorced. Furthermore, property division isn’t 50/50, as it is in some other states. Rather, in Hawaii, the division of property takes into consideration additional factors, such as non-monetary contributions.
For example, if Jordan works full time and uses his income to purchase the family home, and Louise stays home to raise the children, her non-monetary contribution of being a full-time mom factors into the division of property in a divorce. The court will look at these factors to determine what is fair and equitable. If, however, Jordan has a prenup stipulating that he is entitled to 100 percent of the family home in a divorce, that agreement would trump Hawaii’s equitable distribution laws.
Although a prenuptial agreement can be a highly-effective tool for managing property division in a potential divorce, a poorly drafted prenup, or one that does not follow state laws and guidelines, could be a completely useless piece of paper. The laws around property division and prenuptial agreements are complex. Experienced Honolulu prenuptial agreement lawyers understand the complexities and can answer your questions regarding how these laws will impact your unique situation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prenups in Hawaii
What Rights are Covered in a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements cover a wide range of subjects, generally dealing with property rights. As long as they are properly drafted and not in violation of the law, prenups are usually upheld and enforceable. They may address jointly-owned and separately-owned property, and the rights of both spouses to control, manage, or dispose of the property in a divorce. Prenups may also address life insurance death benefits, and the making of a will or trust to ensure that their wishes are carried out accordingly.
When Might a Prenup Not be Enforceable?
There are times when a prenuptial agreement cannot be enforced because it violates state laws or public policy, or its terms are in violation of someone’s legal rights. Some scenarios in which a prenup may be deemed invalid include:
- No written agreement can be found. Verbal prenuptial agreements are not legally binding.
- Lack of disclosure. If one spouse failed to provide full disclosure of their assets and liabilities before the prenup was signed, the agreement may be invalid in a divorce.
- Coercion. If one spouse was coerced into signing the prenup against their will, or inadequate time was given to properly analyze the contract and obtain legal advice, the contract will likely be deemed invalid and unenforceable.
Furthermore, since ensuring that children’s rights and best interests are protected is a priority in Hawaii, a prenuptial agreement that adversely affects the rights of a child is unlikely to be enforceable.
Contact Our Experienced Honolulu Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys Today
If you have questions about property division or prenuptial agreements, or you wish to enforce an existing prenup in your divorce, the skilled legal team at The Sands Law Group APLC can help. We have assisted countless clients as they embark on the next chapter of their lives in the most seamless, efficient, and economical manner possible. Our knowledgeable, compassionate prenuptial agreement lawyers will ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the entire process. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.