Navigating Premarital Agreements in Arizona: Legal Safeguards and Limitations

Writing a premarital agreement.

Premarital Agreements in Arizona

Premarital agreements, commonly known as prenuptial agreements, are legal documents that allow prospective spouses to outline their financial rights and responsibilities before entering into marriage. In Arizona, these agreements are governed by the Arizona Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, a set of statutes that provides the framework for creating, enforcing, and amending such agreements. In this article, we explore the key provisions of this Act, shedding light on the nuances of premarital agreements in Arizona.

Defining Premarital Agreements – A.R.S. 25-201

To begin, let’s understand what a premarital agreement entails. According to A.R.S. 25-201 of the Act, a premarital agreement is a legally binding contract between prospective spouses that becomes effective upon marriage. This agreement allows couples to make decisions regarding the division of assets, spousal support, and other financial matters, providing clarity and security in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse.

Enforcement and Exceptions – A.R.S. 25-202

While premarital agreements are generally enforceable in Arizona, A.R.S. 25-202 outlines an important exception. Joint legal decision-making, a shared responsibility for significant decisions in a child’s upbringing, cannot be awarded if the court finds the existence of significant domestic violence or a significant history of it. This provision underscores the court’s commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and victims of domestic violence.

Scope of Agreement – A.R.S. 25-203

The scope of a premarital agreement, as described in A.R.S. 25-203, is broad but not unlimited. Prospective spouses can address various financial matters, including property rights, assets, and debts. However, there are exceptions to what can be included in these agreements. Matters relating to child custody and child support cannot be predetermined in a premarital agreement. The court will decide these issues based on the best interests of the child and the circumstances at the time of divorce.

Amendment and Revocation – A.R.S. 25-204

A.R.S. 25-204 of the Act permits the parties to amend or revoke their premarital agreement after marriage, but only through a written agreement signed by both spouses. It’s important to note that any changes or revocations must comply with the Act’s requirements to be legally valid.

Limitation of Actions – A.R.S. 25-205

In legal matters, time is often of the essence. Statute 25-205 sets a time limit for bringing actions to enforce or set aside premarital agreements. It states that such actions must be commenced within the earlier of two years after the marriage or the date the agreement was signed. This limitation ensures that disputes over premarital agreements are addressed promptly and not left unresolved indefinitely.

In conclusion, premarital agreements play a crucial role in providing couples with the ability to define their financial rights and responsibilities before marriage. The Arizona Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, encompassing the statutes detailed above, provides a legal framework to create, enforce, and amend these agreements while also protecting the interests of children and victims of domestic violence. Understanding the intricacies of these statutes is essential for anyone considering a premarital agreement in the state of Arizona.


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling premarital agreements. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.

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