Arkansas Postnuptial Agreement

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Updated August 07, 2022

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An Arkansas postnuptial agreement establishes the terms for distributing a married couple’s property in the event the marriage ends in divorce or death.

Unlike prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” postnuptial agreements, also known as “marital agreements,” are executed after a marriage has already begun. Both documents can help couples protect their property against uncertainty, particularly in the case of a divorce, but postnuptial agreements face different requirements to be considered valid and enforceable.

Signing Requirements (Stewart v. Combs (2006)) – Both spouses must freely sign the agreement.

Laws

Prenup v. Postnup: The provisions of Arkansas’s prenuptial agreement statute, Ark. Code Ann. § 9-11-406, do not apply to postnuptial agreements. Stewart v. Combs (2006).

Level of Scrutiny: Postnuptial agreements should be analyzed under the basic principles of contract law but are subject to scrutiny to ensure that they are fair and equitable. The confidential relationship between a husband and a wife keeps them from dealing at “arm’s length.” Stewart v. Combs (2006).

Consideration: A couple’s marriage alone may not be adequate consideration to support a postnuptial agreement (a consideration is a benefit received in return for doing something or giving something up and a required element of a valid contract). Simmons v. Simmons (2007).