A prenuptial agreement or ante nuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage that regulates what will happen upon the termination of a marriage. A prenuptial agreement may contemplate the end of a marriage by either divorce or death.
Why Would I Want a Prenuptial agreement?
Parties may want a prenuptial agreement:
- to keep finances and debts separate
- provide for children from prior marriages
- pass on family property
- or to clarify each party’s role during and after the marriage
A prenup cannot contain any clauses which are illegal or against public policy or that limit or waive future child support, custody or visitation agreements.
How the terms of the prenuptial agreement are negotiated is just as important as the agreement itself. Courts can enforce a prenuptial agreement if:
- it was entered without fraud
- both parties have disclosed full knowledge to their prospective spouse of the value and extent of their own property
- the agreement terms do not promote or encourage divorce or profiteering by divorce
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