Montana Prenup Info
Welcome to scenic Montana! If you are considering entering into a prenuptial (or premarital) agreement, there are certain requirements you’ll have to meet in order for that agreement to be deemed valid in Montana.
Prenups in Montana
Prenuptial agreements can help limit the expense of litigation regarding disputes relevant to the marital estate should one spouse die or should the parties divorce in the future. While you don’t have to visit an attorney to draft a prenup, Prenuptial Agreements must be in writing to be legally valid in Montana, and must meet certain requirements.
A little background
Montana follows the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, and in doing so defines a Premarital Agreement in Montana as “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” The Act defines Property, for purposes of a definition, as “an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.” Per the Act, a premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties and is enforceable without consideration, and becomes effective upon marriage. Read the fine print here.
Montana Prenup Terminology
Official name for a prenup: Premarital Agreement
Property that is not marital: Separate Property
Property that is of the marriage: Marital Property
Spousal Support: Maintenance
Divorce: Dissolution of Marriage
What CAN you include in a valid Montana prenup?
- Separate Property – A MT prenup can specify what property should be considered separate property throughout the marriage not considered marital property.
- Marital Property – A MT prenup can specify what property should be considered marital property of the marriage. Marital property can include assets that were otherwise premarital (if you specify this should be the case, and do not forget about appreciation in value of that separate property), as well as assets acquired after the marriage.
- (Spousal) Maintenance – This is AKA “spousal support” and is the support of one spouse by the other spouse in the event of a separation or divorce. Your MT prenuptial agreement can specify whether you and your future spouse will choose to follow the Alimony laws of that state, or whether you will choose to waive this support altogether.
What CAN’T you contract to in a Montana prenup?
Per Montana’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, couples entering into a premarital agreement may NOT contract with respect to the following: The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.
Helpful links for some light reading…
Read about the Montana Uniform Premarital Agreement Act here.
Read about Montana Maintenance law here.
Read about divorce in Montana here.
Can you amend a Montana prenup?
After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by both parties. The amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without consideration. Read the fine print here.
Straight from the source: What can you contract to in a Montana prenup?
Per Montana’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, couples entering into a premarital agreement may contract with respect to the following:
(a) the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them, whenever and wherever acquired or located;
(b) the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
(c) the disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
(d) the modification or elimination of spousal support;
(e) the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
(f) the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
(g) the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
(h) any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
Divorce in Montana
Montana is a “no fault” divorce state, and an equitable division state. In order to grant a divorce, a Montana court must determine that either the couple has lived separately for more than 180 consecutive days before the petition for divorce is filed, or that there has been serious marital discord between the parties and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Read the fine print here.
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