A Prenuptial Agreement, commonly referred to as a ‘prenup’, is a contract between two people who are engaged to be married. Typically, a Prenuptial Agreement is entered into after an engaged couple after the wedding date has been set and do not take effect until the marriage takes place. Prenuptial Agreements usually address how a couple’s property will be divided in the event of a separation, divorce, or the death of a spouse.
Prenuptial Agreements can also deal with spousal support. However, the circumstances of the parties during and after the marriage play a large part in the determination of spousal support awards, so courts may intervene in this issue, even if it is dealt with in a Prenuptial Agreement.
Issues such as child custody and child support are generally not included in Prenuptial Agreements because such matters are to be determined based on the best interests of the child at the time of the separation.
Independent legal advice is of critical importance when signing a contract, especially one thatdeals with the division of matrimonial property. The exchange of financial disclosure and the doctrine of unconscionability should also be discussed with a family law lawyer prior to the drafting of a Prenuptial Agreement.
An RCMV Family Lawyer can make sure you are fully informed prior to entering into aPrenuptial Agreement. Contact us today.
Below we’ve compiled a few important answers to commonly asked questions on the Prenuptial Agreements process.
Ideally, couples should contact lawyers more than three months before their wedding date. This ensures that there is enough time to exchange financial disclosure, negotiate terms, and execute the agreement.
If you are getting married in less than three months, it is likely still possible to get an agreement in place by the wedding date, but be prepared to set aside time to complete the required steps. Do not hesitate to contact us to get advice about your particular situation.
If you are already married, it is not too late to sign an agreement with your spouse relating toproperty division and spousal support in the event that your marriage breaks down in the future.
If you sign this type of agreement while you are married, it is typically called a Marriage Agreement or Postnuptial Agreement, rather than a Prenuptial Agreement.