Prenuptial and Ante-Nuptial Agreements
Premarital agreements are also known as pre-nuptial and ante-nuptial agreements and all three names mean the same thing. They are agreements made by prospective spouses before their marriage to determine who gets what (alimony and/or property) if the marriage ends in divorce, separation, or one spouse passes away. They must be in writing and are effective only, if and when, the marriage actually takes place.
A prenuptial is a divorce settlement that happens before the marriage.
Premarital Agreements allow the parties to contract with respect to:
• The right and obligations to property
• The right to manage property
• Disposition of property upon separation, divorce, or death
• The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement
• Life Insurance policies
• The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement
• Any other matter, including personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
To ensure that the Agreement will be followed by the divorce or probate court, both parties should have an attorney and negotiations should take place well in advance of the wedding. If both parties have a lawyer, it becomes more difficult for the spouse to later argue that he or she did not understand the Agreement. Additionally, there must be full financial disclosure by both parties for the premarital agreement to be valid.