Prenuptial Agreement

A Prenuptial Agreement is entered into by a couple prior to marriage regarding the division of assets in the event of a divorce or death, assuming that the marriage is consummated.

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Many engaged couples, or even before then, choose to enter into a Prenuptial Agreement. Having a prenup means that it would likely be more comfortable and faster if any divorce proceedings are to come. A Prenuptial Agreement is also helpful in executing the Last Will and Testament after the death of one of the spouses.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

The Prenuptial Agreement is legal in all US states, which, as is the case with most more controversial topics, may enforce the prenup in varying fashion. Check your state law before creating a prenup or risk ending up with one that is useless.

The Prenuptial Agreement handles the financial side of the marriage. It is used to decide beforehand the division of properties, liabilities, and current assets. It also details how any businesses owned are to be divided.

However, it does not concern custodial matters, which is the territory of family law and expressly prohibited in such a way that any attempt could void the agreement.

Other Names for Prenuptial Agreement

Depending on your state, a Prenuptial Agreement may also be known as:

  • Antenuptial Agreement
  • Premarital Agreement
  • Prenuptial Contract
  • Marriage Contract
  • Domestic Contract
  • Prenup

Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement

The prenup comes with a reputation of abuse where very wealthy people hang it over the head of someone not nearly as wealthy to do it or else. Nowadays, though, the prenup may be part of a standard marriage contract. It makes sense to use a Prenuptial Agreement if there are significant assets or liabilities present before marriage. After the marriage, married couples would use a Postnuptial Agreement.

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How to Create a Prenuptial Agreement with 360 Legal Forms

All states recognize the Prenuptial Agreement, but you still want to create an agreement conforming to your state's law in all aspects. That is what we can help with.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Prenuptial Agreement?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Future Spouse A Details: Full legal name, current address, and contact information.
  • Future Spouse B Details: Full legal name, current address, and contact information.
  • The Effective Date: The date when the agreement becomes effective (usually the marriage date); the deal is automatically voided if the union is not consummated.
  • Governing Law: Select the state's legal system that will be applicable.
  • Disclosure: Declare that the future spouses have disclosed the financial standings in full.
  • Property: Depicts how marital and premarital properties are to be divided in the event of a divorce.
  • Debts: List all premarital debts and how they and any marital debts are to be settled or split in the event of a divorce.
  • Additional Clauses: Any other provisions the couple would like to include.
  • Legal Representation: Supply the names of the attorneys as applicable.
  • Witness: The person witnessing the signing.
  • Signatures: Both future spouses and the witness are to sign.

Prenuptial Agreement Terms

  • Cohabitation: The term for living together commonly connotes pre-marriage.
  • Commingling: In the context of a Prenuptial Agreement, this is the mixing of marital and non-marital properties.
  • Estate Planning: In the context of a Prenuptial Agreement, this is the act of property distribution after death.
  • Separation Agreement: An agreement married spouses use as conditions for living separately.
  • Alimony: Spousal support where the higher earner may be ordered to pay financial support.
  • Disclosure: A faithful declaration of assets and debts.
  • Amendment: An addition to a contract modifying existing terms or adding new ones.
  • Affidavit of Execution: A sworn statement by a witness.
  • Severability: The quality of a document, such as an agreement or lawmakers' bill, being valid even when some parts or provisions are struck out.
  • UPAA: Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.

Prenuptial Agreement Signing Requirements

After reviewing the Prenuptial Agreement's printout, both future spouses are to sign it in front of a witness. Notarization might not be required in all states, but it is highly recommended.

What to Do with Your Prenuptial Agreement

After the Prenuptial Agreement is signed and notarized, distribute a copy to both parties. It is not necessary to file the agreement with the court or any state authority.

Frequently Asked Questions

Non-marital properties are everything owned prior to getting married. The only exclusion is business ownership, which could be addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement. Non-marital or separate properties may also include anything received by one spouse as a gift, which may those given by the other spouse, damages and compensations won for personal injury, and all properties bought without the other after a legal separation. By contrast, marital properties include all earnings and properties and assets bought during the marriage by either or both spouses. Any commingling of funds in joint bank accounts are usually considered marital property as well.

To begin with, either party can waive the right to have an attorney present by declaring that they understand and are in agreement with all of the terms of the contract. However, some states may require couples to retain an attorney individually as necessary. As a general practice, you can hardly do worse for having a legal expert review your Prenuptial Agreement prior to signing.

Marital debt refers to all liabilities jointly incurred by a couple in marriage, for which creditors are allowed to go after the couple, individually or jointly, for debt collection purposes in the event of a divorce. For the debts incurred separately prior to the marriage, the couple can use a prenup to determine how will the debt burden be shouldered, separately or jointly.

A postnuptial agreement serves the same purpose as the Prenuptial Agreement save for the fact that it is signed after marriage. You can bring up the topic of a postnuptial agreement for any reason – perhaps you had previously thought that a prenup would not be necessary, things might have changed, you or your spouse came into great wealth after marriage.

The answer is yes. For one, a Prenuptial Agreement can be voided if it was created in bad faith. For example, if it is discovered that one of the parties was untruthful with the asset disclosure or was under duress to sign the agreement. A court may also declare a prenup null and void if it was written in a way that would incentivize a divorce, such as if one of the parties stands to gain a lot more for getting a divorce than not getting a divorce.

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Applicable to all 50 states
Applicable to all 50 states

Our documents are vetted by lawyers and are applicable to all 50 states.