Couples choosing to marry may have significant family assets they want to exclude from the marital estate. They may have assets they have accumulated pre-marriage or want to establish alimony expectations. A couple entering into a second marriage may want to protect assets for their children of a first marriage or provide for their new spouse.
A Prenuptial Agreement can be used to address asset division at divorce, death or both.
If you are planning to enter into a Prenuptial Agreement, it is important to seek legal advice with sufficient time before the wedding is to take place. Prenuptial Agreements require full financial disclosure by both parties and time for the parties to review the agreement and seek legal advice if they choose.
Some couples who are already married are seeking to resolve issues that are causing tensions in the hope of preserving the marriage.
Spouses who enter into a Postnuptial Agreement are held to a higher standard than if they were not married. A Postnuptial Agreement may be enforceable if, among other requirements, each party had the opportunity to obtain independent legal counsel of their own choosing, all assets were disclosed, there was no fraud, and the agreement is deemed by a judge to be fair and reasonable at the time it was signed and fair and reasonable at the time of divorce.
As with Premarital Agreements, they should not be entered into quickly and the parties should allow significant time for drafting, disclosures and negotiation.