A Pre-Nuptial or Ante-Nuptial agreement is a contract between an engaged couple that is made before the marriage takes place. A Post-Nuptial agreement is a contract between spouses that is made after the marriage takes place. Either agreement is used to specify a distribution of assets, property or debt in the event of a divorce, separation or the death of either party.
With a Pre-Nuptial or Ante-Nuptial agreement, the couple can determine how financial issues will be resolved in the event of a divorce, separation or death of either party, before any problems arise. It can protect one party’s assets, set up a framework of financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage and prevent costly litigation of these matters in the event of divorce. Where a couple is entering into a second marriage and want to ensure that the children of their first marriage inherit, these agreements can be used to carry out that goal.
In the absence of a Pre-Nuptial or Ante-Nuptial agreement, State law will determine how property is divided in the event of a divorce or separation and who inherits in the event of one party’s death.
The advantage of a Pre-Nuptial or Ante-Nuptial agreement is that they can be prepared to meet your specific situation well in advance of any situation which may arise.
In order for a Pre-Nuptial or Ante-Nuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, it must meet certain legal requirements. You should always consult with an Attorney before signing any document to determine how that document affects your rights. In addition, an Attorney can advise how to make sure that the document is enforceable when you need it.