What is a Prenuptial Agreement

What is a Prenuptial Agreement, or what is a premarital agreement? Prenuptial Agreements are also known as premarital agreements and antenuptial agreements.

Advantages of Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is the main form of protection against a divorce. It is a written contract between the spouses which specifies each party’s responsibility to the children and the division of assets and income upon divorce – including both prenuptial and post nuptial assets.

What to include in a Prenuptial Agreement

As Jarvis and Mandell note, the main requirements of a prenuptial agreement include the following:

  • Agreement must be signed, in writing, and preferably notarized – Most states require that the agreement be not only written and signed, but also notarized. Even if not required, notarization is a good idea as it protects against claims of forgery or duress.
  • Agreement must include a fair, accurate and reasonable disclosure of each party’s financial condition – Thus, it is best to attach financial statements to the agreement, and have each spouse affirm knowledge of the other’s financial condition.
  • Agreement must be drafted with each party advised by separate attorneys – This is the only way to avoid any claims of duress. Allow sufficient time before the actual wedding date for the agreement to be signed.
  • Agreement must not be one-sided – One-sided agreements will not be enforced by the courts; the agreement should provide a fair balance.
  • Couple must follow the agreement during the marriage – For example, do not retitle properties designated as separate to the other party.

What is a Premarital Agreement

For more about what is a prenuptial agreement: Divorce Asset Protection.

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