Prenuptial agreements are also commonly known as “prenups”. A prenuptial agreement – also known as a premarital or antenuptial agreement – is an agreement signed by both engaged parties before a marriage that establishes how property, alimony, spousal support, debt, assets, and other financial issues will be resolved in the event of a divorce. These agreements should not include agreements regarding child custody and child support.
A prenuptial agreement can also help in determining how assets will be distributed to children or other family members in the event of a later divorce or death. However, a prenuptial agreement is only enforceable if signed willingly by both parties to the marriage. Both parties must be of sound mind and not under duress when the prenuptial agreement is signed. Both the husband and wife must disclose all of their assets, property and other relevant financial information to the other party for the prenuptial agreement to be valid.
If one or both of the parties do not disclose a specific asset or property he or she owns – and subsequently a divorce is filed, the person who failed to disclose those assets in the prenuptial agreement will likely be required to treat that property as marital property. This would have the result of exposing the property to an equitable division by the court as part of the divorce.
There are other issues that can affect the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement. Family law attorneys can meet with you about your specific situation if you think you may need a prenuptial agreement. Because the signing of a prenuptial agreement can be a time sensitive process where the spouses may need time to seek independent legal advice – it is always advisable to speak with an attorney as soon as possible when presented with a prenuptial agreement. Furthermore, we strongly advise having an attorney draft and – if needed – help negotiate the terms of any prenuptial agreement before presenting to your future spouse.
Yes, on this website you can download a FREE sample Prenuptial Agreement form!
I’m getting married in a few weeks and my fiance and I both agree that we want to draw up a prenuptial agreement sample. It would be a simple document. I own the house we live in, we have no children together and never will and our savings are minimal. I certainly don’t want to pay a solicitor to draw this up for me as its so straightforward. If we divorce, he has no claim on my house and we each keep what possessions and savings we had going into the marriage. I’ve found websites where you can download a form but it still costs money. I know that drawing this up ourselves will not be legally binding, but I’ve been led to believe that NO pre-nuptial agreements are legally binding in England anyway, it’s up to the divorce judge to decide if it should stand.
I have found a site that says its free to download the form, I have had a look and if you can’t download it you could always copy and paste it.
Go to download here: sample-prenuptial agreement
Reduce the Stress of Divorce
Divorce can be a challenging and complex process both for you as an individual and in going through the required legal processes. When you married, the intention was to last for life, but as things have deteriorated, you are faced with the reality of significant changes as separation continues to go ahead.
Divorce is inherently emotional and there may be a sense of loss, fear, uncertainty or confusion. These emotions make it hard to deal with the practicalities of separation, children and parenting concerns and/or financial and property matters.
People may tell you their divorce story or something they have heard, but in the legal sphere each case is individual and the stories of others, while giving you some understanding, often creates more confusion than answers.
More Important Facts about prenuptial agreements
Do you know of anyone that has a prenuptial agreement, besides possibly an actor or millionaire, maybe Tiger Woods and his wife? You may be surprised how many couples decide on getting them nowadays with financial difficulties abounding. After all, you want to protect what is yours right? Love is still the most important part of a marriage, but make no mistake about it money is always a huge part as well.
Nothing can kill romance faster than the word prenup. But with about one in three of all first marriages ending in divorce, and 50 percent of second or third ones hitting the skids, a prenuptial agreement is simply smart financial planning, both legal and financial experts say.
“Think of it as a business arrangement or as an insurance policy to help remove some of the emotion that’s naturally involved,” says Nancy Dunnan, a New York City financial adviser and author. “Marriage is not just an emotional and physical union — it’s also a financial union. A prenup and the discussions that go with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.”
A prenuptial accord is a contract between two people about to wed that spells out how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Such agreements have existed for thousands of years in some form or another, particularly in European and Far Eastern cultures, where royal families have always made provisions for protecting their wealth.
Not just for the rich
You don’t have to be a Donald Trump to need a premarital agreement. A person who has managed to save even $50,000 may be more protective of their little nest egg than someone who has millions. After all, we all look at our assets as very valuable even if they are only a small amount or just family heirlooms.
“Those are sometimes the most jealously guarded assets because it has taken a lot of hard work to accumulate a small amount,” says Joseph P. Zwack, an Iowa lawyer and author of a best-selling handbook “Premarital Agreements: When, Why and How to Write Them.”
You should consider having a prenuptial agreement if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You have assets such as a home, stock or retirement funds
- Own all or part of a business
- You may be receiving an inheritance
- You have children and/or grandchildren from a previous marriage
- One of you is much wealthier than the other
- One of you will be supporting the other through college
- You have loved ones who need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents
- You have or are pursuing a degree or license in a potentially lucrative profession such as medicine
- You could see a big increase in income because your business is taking off, or that garage band you play in has just gotten a contract with a big record company.
Approaching the subject
So how does one broach this touchy subject? First, do it as early as possible. The mention of a prenup shouldn’t come as a surprise if you and your sweetheart have been open with each other as the relationship became serious.
Dunnan recommends couples talk it over before the engagement. “Let your intended know you believe these agreements are important and that you’d like to go over the topic.”
Second, the discussion must be honest. “You have to be real candid about why you want the agreement. It’s not very romantic, but you have to appreciate what the other party’s concerns are,” says Michael McDonough, a Palm Beach County, Fla., lawyer who practices matrimonial and family law.