Legal Updates

An Overview of the Law Relating to Prenuptial Agreements in Missouri

 An Overview of the Law Relating to Prenuptial Agreements in MissouriPrenuptial agreements are generally favored and enforceable under Missouri law.  To be enforceable, a prenup must be fair and reasonable and based upon full disclosure of all relevant facts.  The parties must both fully understand what they are agreeing to and both parties must be acting in good faith.
Prenuptial agreements must be entered into before the marriage.  Post-nuptial agreements are not currently enforceable under Missouri law.  Generally, on terms relating to property are enforceable in Missouri.  If parties make agreements relating to child custody and child support, a court may consider those terms along with all of the other relevant facts in the case to determine child custody and child support, but the court cannot be bound the prenuptial agreement of the parties as it relates to custody or support.

A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and to be effective must only be signed by the parties after full disclosure by both parties of the entirety of their assets and holdings.  The terms of a prenup may be invalidated by words or actions of either party during the marriage.  For example, if a wife were to have $100,000.00 in cash in a separate account that is specifically mentioned in a prenuptial agreement, that money may become a marital asset by gift if the wife were to move the money to a joint account or deposit the money as a down payment on a jointly owned property.

A prenuptial agreement may be challenged by either party during a divorce.  The party challenging the agreement has the burden of proof.  If a court finds that the previously mentioned requirements were not met, or that the agreement is somehow unconscionable the agreement will not be enforceable.

Every case is unique and the information contained here is intended to be general in nature and not legal advice for any particular case.  If you believe a party in contempt of a court order it is best to seek the advice of an attorney to see how the law applies to your particular case.