Prenuptial Agreements

Law Blog

Prenuptial agreements also known as prenups are common for people who want to get married. If you are looking to tie the knot, you need to arrange for a prenup. This article will educate you on why a prenup is important, what happens if you do not have one and what makes it invalid.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenup is an agreement that establishes the financial and property rights of spouses as a safeguard against a divorce.  Generally, prenuptial agreements are used to protect one's assets and prevent them from being subjected to marital laws during a divorce. Specifically, prenups may be used for:

  • Protecting one spouse from inheriting the other spouse's debts
  • Establishing how property is going to be passed on when one spouse passes away
  • Protecting the specified assets of one spouse
  • Simplifying the division of property in case of a divorce
  • Laying down the financial obligations of the spouses

What Happens if You Do Not Have a Prenup?

If you fail to arrange for a prenup, your jurisdiction's laws will determine how to subdivide property acquired during marriage and what happens to property in the event of death or divorce. Property that is acquired during marriage is called community or marital property.

Under the laws regarding marriage, marriage is a contract that exists between the couple that is married and with this contract comes specific property rights. For example, if you do not have a prenup, your spouse is legally permitted to:

-Incur debts that you may be required to pay

- Have a say in the control and management of any community/marital property which may include giving it away or selling it

- Share the ownership of any property that has been acquired in the course of the marriage

-Have an equal share of marital property in case of death or a divorce

To avoid these marital property or probate laws, you should get a prenup to allow you make the final decision on how your assets will be handled.

What Makes a Prenup Invalid?

  1. No Written Contract: Prenups need to be in writing to be valid
  2. Not Executed Properly: Both you and your spouse should sign a prenup before marriage for it to be valid.
  3. Signed out of Duress: A prenup is not valid if you pressurize your spouse to sign the contract.
  4. It was not Read: A prenup is not enforceable if one spouse signs it without reading it.
  5. No time to Consider: When one spouse signs the agreement without giving it some thought, it is invalid. For example, if you are handed the contract to sign immediately and are not given time to think it over and review it, then this contract is invalid.

Reach out to a local family law solicitor for more information. 


18 November 2015

Fact And Fiction: Accurate Information About The Law

I love reading novels that involve complex legal cases. I particularly enjoy those that are told from the defendant's viewpoint, but any well-written legal fiction will capture my imagination. My interest comes from being a court stenographer when I was much younger and seeing the dramas in real-life! Nothing irritates me more than a novel which includes legal fallacies. Fiction or not, I am a stickler for accuracy. I like to do research and check if a court case in one of my novels could play out in real life. It has become quite a hobby and I spend a lot of time in the law section of my university's library. I'm sure there are other people who are interested in the law for various reasons and I would like to share some of the knowledge I've gained. I hope you find my blog fascinating and worthwhile.