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An overview of prenuptial agreements

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Family Law |

Although most couples do not enter marriage with the intention to divorce, a prenuptial agreement can protect both spouses if the relationship eventually ends. A prenuptial agreement addresses the couple’s financial rights and responsibilities. It can also include other topics.

Prenuptial agreement sections

The specific items included in the prenuptial agreement may vary depending on your circumstances, however generally it should include several elements. It should list the names and addresses of each intended spouse, the date and location of their anticipated marriage, and how their assets and debts will be addressed.

It should also outline how their property will be divided if they divorce and whether either spouse will pay alimony. Each spouse must complete an accurate financial disclosure and present it to the other spouse before signing the agreement.

The financial disclosure should include bank account balances, investment amounts, retirement holdings and if applicable, any interests either spouse has in a business.

If there are family heirlooms, such as jewelry or artwork, that one spouse wants to keep in the event of divorce, that can be included in the prenuptial agreement as well.

General exclusions

There are some topics that are generally excluded from prenuptial agreements. If the spouses have children, decisions about child custody and child support are left to the court to decide based on the best interests of the child.

Any items that are against public policy, provisions that are clearly unfair to one of the parties, and prenuptial agreement terms that try to address unforeseeable events may be  unenforceable.