Writing up a premarital or prenuptial agreement is a good way to establish specific rights and obligations before marriage. It helps give security, certainty and solid decisions about issues that may arise later.
A prenup usually tackles the couple’s assets. However, you could include other details, including:
- Distribution of death insurance benefits
- Spousal support terms and modifications
- Inheritance matters, such as division of the estate considering children from previous marriages
- Debt liability
- Ownership of family heirlooms and antiques
- Other personal affairs, rights and obligations that do not go against the law
This agreement generally sets clear lines on what the couple needs to do if they decide to get a divorce. However, it can also contain will and estate division plans, providing clear directions for the family in case of death.
Enforcement of a prenup
Like any contract, it can only be valid if it meets the following conditions:
- The prenup was written and signed before the wedding
- Both parties voluntarily signed the agreement
- Both parties received ample knowledge and disclosure about each other’s assets before signing
Additionally, each party can hire a lawyer while setting up and signing the agreement. They can also change any terms and revoke the prenup with their consent.
If the couple decides to draft and sign a similar legal document after the wedding, it will become a marital agreement instead.
This document may not include provisions regarding child support. Also, the couple’s limited foresight might exclude topics from the prenup. Fortunately, they can settle the matter in court as needed.
Even so, a prenup helps couples prepare for complicated matters and troublesome issues they might encounter after marriage.