In any relationship it is advisable to establish an agreement which sets forth the rights of each person in the event the relationship ends. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements do just that. Iowa courts have long favored these agreements because they allow the parties in a marriage to structure their financial and personal affairs to suit their needs and values and to achieve a level of certainty that is conducive to marital tranquility.
A marital agreement will only be enforced if its terms are fair between the parties and fairly, freely and understandingly entered into. Premarital/postnuptial agreements may include terms relating to the following:
- 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.
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, otherwise manage and control property.
- The disposition of property upon separation, dissolution of marriage, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.
- The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.
- The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefits from a life insurance policy.
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.
- Any other matter, including the personal rights and obligations of the parties, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.