Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
on Premarital Agreements
Q: What are Premarital Agreements?
A: Premarital Agreements are binding legal contracts between you and the one you intend to marry. With a premarital agreement, many people try to ensure that their assets remain theirs if the marriage fails.
Q: Are Premarital Agreements Valid?
A: Most states generally favor prenuptial agreements. They encourage people who might not get married to become married. Prenuptial agreements will be valid depending on many facts and circumstances.
Q: What Should I Do to Have a Valid Premarital Agreement?
A: Generally you will want to:
Make full and complete written disclosure of each others’ assets and liabilities, well in advance of the wedding,
Make sure that the terms are not unreasonable, and would be fair
Give both parties a reasonable opportunity to review the proposed agreement well before the wedding.
Q: Can Premarital and Post Marital Agreements Alter the Division of Marital (Community) Property?
A: Yes, as long as the agreement meets with the requirements under state law. An “ante-nuptial” or “premarital agreement” is a legal contract between two people who are about to become married. In the agreement, the prospective husband and wife may agree upon the rights that each will have to the property. They may also agree on the amount of support owed to the other in the event of divorce, and their respective inheritance rights. The premarital contract alters the state’s typical rules for the division of marital property upon divorce or death.
This agreement may alter the rules for the division of property between the spouses in the event of divorce or death. A particular form of post marital agreement specifies the distribution of property and responsibility for debt between the respective spouses. Laws in each state governing these agreements vary from state to state. To be valid in most states the agreement must:
Be in writing
Be signed by both spouses
Have enough disclosure of all the assets, income and debt of each spouse
Have allowed the parties ample opportunity to consider its contents and get legal advice, before signing.
Be free from fraud, duress and entered voluntarily.