People who call my office ask me quite often whether they should have a Prenuptial Agreement. The information below will give you some basics about what is included in a prenuptial agreement.
A Prenuptial Agreement or Premarital Agreement sometimes called a “Prenup” is an agreement entered into before you marry.
It is an agreement in which you and your fiancé can set forth what will happen to your separate assets and debts and your joint (marital) assets and debts, in the event your marriage ends, either in divorce or death. It is a contract that cannot be forced upon your future spouse or signed under duress.
Your fiancé must have adequate time to review the agreement and consult an attorney to be sure the provisions are understood.
A Prenuptial Agreement will list all financial assets and liabilities (debts) that each of you has prior to the marriage.
It will also list all real estate each of you owns and who will have ownership of it once you are married. It will also indicate what will happen to any gains or income generated by your premarital assets and investments. The agreement will usually include a provision as to how debts will be paid. It may also talk about alimony or support in the event of a divorce. In addition, a provision will be included as to what will happen to the marital or joint property you accumulate during the marriage.
A Prenuptial Agreement must be in writing, must be fair and must be signed by both parties in front of a Notary. It must be executed voluntarily with both parties having ample time to discuss the provisions and consult attorneys prior to signing. There must be full disclosure as to the assets and debts each party has prior to signing the agreement.