Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreements

There are two types of contracts/agreements that a couple may enter before or after they have married. The first is a prenuptial agreement, which is established before the couple has legally married. The second is an antenuptial or postnuptial agreement, which is drafted after the marriage has taken place. Both of these contracts list each spouse’s individual property and financial rights in the event that they get divorced. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a millionaire to benefit from signing a pre/postnuptial agreement. The terms set down in these contracts can help possibly determine the division of property and amount of alimony in the event that the couple dissolves their marriage.

This is not to say, however, that what is listed in a pre/postnuptial agreement is set in stone. The court may find the agreement invalid if it was created as a result of fraud, duress, or coercion. Also, any mention of parental responsibility and time-sharing will be considered, but may not be wholly adhered to if the court determines that another option is more suited to the best interests of the child.

Think of a pre/postnuptial as a business arrangement or an insurance policy for both of your futures. Marriage should be an emotional, physical union as well as a financial one. With a prenup, you can spell out how your assets, joint or personal, will be distributed in the event of a divorce or death. Such agreements have existed in some form or another for thousands of years. As with any signed agreement between two parties, look to a professional who can assist you with the legal provisions you need and the required witnessing signatures. Do not be afraid to look over your prenup every few years and make any necessary alterations as your lives grow and change.