A prenuptial agreement (sometimes known as a “prenup”) is a written agreement made between two individuals before they marry. A prenuptial agreement typically details all of the assets (as well as any debts) that each individual has and states what their property rights will be following the wedding. A prenuptial agreement is also called as a “antenuptial agreement” or, in more modern terminology, a “premarital agreement” in some jurisdictions. As in “prenuptial contract,” the word “contract” is sometimes used instead of “agreement.” A “postnuptial,” “post marital,” or “marital” arrangement is one that is made after marriage rather than before. Despite popular belief, prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy. While prenuptial agreements are commonly utilised to preserve the wealth of a wealthy fiancé, individuals of moderate incomes are increasingly using them for their own needs. Some people request a prenuptial agreement for the following reasons:
Separate property should be passed on to offspring from previous marriages.
A prenuptial agreement can be used by a married couple with children from previous marriages to set out what will occur to their assets when they die, allowing them to leave separate possessions to their children while still providing for each other if needed.
Without a prenuptial agreement, a surviving spouse may be entitled to a considerable amount of the other spouse’s assets, leaving much less for the children.
Make your financial rights clear. Couples, whether they have children or not, and whether they are affluent or not, may merely want to explain their economic rights and duties during their marriage. In the event of a divorce, avoid arguing.
Alternatively, they may want to pre-empt possible problems if they ever divorce by laying down how their assets will be shared and whether either spouse would receive compensation in advance.
(However, in a few states, a partner’s entitlement to alimony cannot be waived, and that in many others, a release of alimony will be closely reviewed and will not be implemented if the partner who is giving up alimony does not have a counsel.)
Prenuptial agreements can also be used to safeguard couples from each other’s liabilities, as well as a variety of other difficulties. If you don’t sign a prenuptial agreement, your state and local laws will govern who owns all the land you gain during your wedding and what occurs to it if you divorce or die. (Depending on the jurisdiction, property obtained during your marriage is referred to as marital or communal property.) State legislation may have a say over what happens to some of the assets you had before you wedded. Marriage is regarded by the law as an agreement between the marital couple, and that relationship confers on each spouse some automatic property rights. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, for example, a spouse normally has the right to:
share property ownership procured during marital relationship with the assumption that it will be partitioned between the partners in the case of divorce or death, incur liabilities during marriage that the other partner may be responsible for, and share in the monitoring and administration of any marital or community property, which may include the right to sell or give it away.
The law is becoming more favourable to prenuptial agreements as they become more popular. Formerly, courts regarded prenuptial agreements with suspicion since they nearly usually entailed a less fortunate spouse waiving legal and financial advantages, and they were supposed to promote divorce.
Courts and legislators are increasingly prepared to respect premarital agreements as divorce and remarriage have grown more common, and as gender equality has increased. Every state now allows them, albeit a prenuptial agreement that is found to be unjust or fails to meet state standards will still be rejected. However, because prenuptial agreements are still scrutinised by the courts, it is critical that you discuss and draught your contract in a clear, comprehensible, and legally correct manner. If you design your own contract, as we urge, you should have independent lawyers evaluate it and at the very least give you some advice on it; otherwise, a court will be far more likely to question its legitimacy. There are a lot of books out there which can teach you how to draft a prenuptial agreement.