A Guide To Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Blog, Family Law

closeup of a young man an a young woman signing a prenuptial agreementA prenuptial agreement is contract made between a couple prior to marriage that dictates their legal rights and obligations in the event of a breakdown in their marriage. While these documents are commonly referred to as prenuptial agreements, they go by many other names, such as:

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

Read on for Heritage Law’s guide to prenuptials – what they cover, and why some people consider them.

What Is Typically Included In A Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that deals with a myriad of marital issues. Some of these issues include:

  • Information about both spouses (property, debt, assets, etc.)
  • Estate inheritance, if applicable
  • Support obligations
  • Shared property & debts, and how these will be divided in a marriage breakdown

What is NOT Included In A Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement does not deal with the matter of custody over children, or the right to access a spouse’s children. This issue is generally determined by the courts at the time of separation or divorce. Child support may be outlined in a prenuptial agreement; however, the courts always retain the authority to overrule the contract if they feel the child support outlined is not enough.

Why Should I Consider A Prenuptial?

Some people think that you only need a prenup if you have significant assets going into a marriage; however, a prenuptial agreement is a great option for any couple that is looking to protect their personal property. In the event the marriage ends, a prenuptial agreement outlines what is considered shared and separate. Shared assets will need to be divided or shared, while any separate assets outlined will remain untouched.

We Are Already Married – Can We Enter Into A Prenup?

The short answer is no. Once you are married you automatically obtain certain legal rights that may have been waived in a prenuptial agreement – this causes things to get a little tricky. Married couples will actually enter into something called a postnuptial agreement.

Questions? We Can Help

Do you need help entering into or settling a prenuptial agreement? Contact the expert team at Heritage Law for all your legal advice.