Parties can include a wide variety of provisions in a premarital agreement. However, in Kansas, premarital agreements are prohibited from including anything that would violate public policy or a criminal statute. Absent those two caveats, premarital agreements have a very broad scope. The most common areas addressed in premarital agreements include: rights and obligations of each of the parties with regard to property, modification or elimination of spousal support, ownerships rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy, the making of a will, and disposition of property upon separation. A premarital agreement was the subject of litigation in the recent Kansas Court of Appeals case, Traster v. Traster, 48 Kan. App. 2d 356 (2012).
In order to be enforceable under Kansas law, a premarital agreement must meet several requirements. A premarital agreement must be “in writing and signed by both parties.” Additionally, a premarital agreement must have been entered into voluntarily by both parties. A premarital agreement will not be considered valid if it is unconscionable and disclosure of necessary financial information was inadequate, there was no waiver of a right to disclosure, and the injured party had no independent method of learning the critical financial information.
The attorneys at Joseph Hollander & Craft regularly counsel clients about premarital agreements. We discuss with our clients whether agreements, and what provisions within proposed agreements, will serve their best interests. Clients must be educated about the purpose of a premarital agreement, the provisions set out in the agreement itself, and their rights regarding the same. At Joseph Hollander & Craft, we are happy to assist you in making the most informed decisions possible regarding your premarital agreement. If you are considering signing a premarital agreement or if you need an experienced attorney to draft your premarital agreement, contact Julia Craft, Kristine Lawless, or Rebecca Sisk in Wichita (316-262-9393), Topeka (785-234-3272), or Lawrence (785-856-0143).