Nuptial Agreements

A nuptial agreement is a contract entered into between two people either about to enter into marriage or are already married that includes provisions for property division and financial support in the event of a divorce or dissolution. A pre-nuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage and a post-nuptial agreement is a contract entered into after marriage.

A well-drafted nuptial agreement usually serves two purposes. First, it reduces conflict during the end of a marriage because it clearly details how the couple wishes to resolve all financial issues. Second, nuptial agreement can safeguard premarital property and assets.

Since nuptial agreements are entered when the parties are not engaged in a divorce action, important decisions regarding division of property can be made in a conflict-free environment. A properly drafted nuptial agreement may help clients avoid unnecessary legal expenses by dividing property without the emotions that accompany a divorce or dissolution action.

A nuptial agreement is also very important for people who have accumulated sizeable assets prior to the marriage, especially when there is a significant disparity in the assets of the two people getting married. Many people entering into second marriages opt to sign nuptial agreements to ensure that their premarital property will go to their children from a previous marriage instead of to the new spouse in the event of divorce.

Nuptial agreements can:

  • Protect premarital assets
  • Protect the inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage
  • Protect the financial interests of a pre-existing family business
  • Outline terms for spousal support or waive it altogether
  • Determine the distribution of assets acquired during the marriage
  • Outline each of your personal rights and obligations toward the other;
  • Set forth the obligations that either of you may have in future debts; and,
  • Protect and maintain any interest in non-marital assets.

You and your future or current spouse will each need to hire an attorney to assist in negotiating the pre or post nuptial agreement to understand the legal ramifications, the legal implications in the future, and/or the legal risks of the agreement.