Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreement (A.K.A. prenup, prenupt, antenuptial or premarital agreement)

What is it?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract entered prior to a civil union or marriage and outlines division of assets and spousal support should the marriage result in divorce. This agreement is entered upon to make the process of separation easier and to protect the personal assets of both parties. Prenuptial agreements can also outline what happens when they die, similar to a Last Will and Testament.

It is essential to employ counsel, as there are more hurdles should the parties choose to go forth without, and the probability of the agreement being enforced drops dramatically.

There are five elements that are typically required in order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid.

  1. It must be in writing
  2. Executed on a voluntary basis
  3. Full and/or fair disclosure
  4. Cannot be unconscionable
  5. Must be executed by both parties before a notary public

Why is a prenuptial agreement important?

A prenuptial agreement is important in order to protect an individual’s property and interests should a marriage result in divorce. This does not mean that both or one parties involved are rich, but simply that they wish to protect that which they have worked hard to attain.

A prenuptial agreement should be considered if:

  1. You own a home, have stock, or a retirement fund
  2. You own or are a partner in a business
  3. You may receive an inheritance
  4. You have children from a previous marriage
  5. One party is wealthier than the other
  6. One party is supporting the other through college
  7. You have loved ones in your care or who need to be taken care of
  8. You have or are pursuing a lucrative career
  9. An increase in income is anticipated
  10. To protect one party from the other party’s debt

Things you should think about when considering a prenuptial agreement:

  1. It is important to speak with your significant other early on in a relationship and not shortly before a wedding is to occur.
  2. It is important that all information regarding assets are disclosed to assure that the prenuptial agreement will withstand in the event of a divorce; failure to disclose information can result in the agreement being null and void.
  3. It is important to hire an attorney to prepare the paperwork for you.

For further questions or information please contact us.