No Romance Without Finance: Prenuptial Agreements FAQs

Law Blog

For many couples intending to tie the knot, the thought of signing a prenuptial agreement is often perceived as spelling doom on a marriage that has not even taken off yet. However, one cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that divorce is a reality that may befall any couple.

Before dismissing the prenuptial agreement as a romance-killer, get answers to a few commonly asked questions about this important document.

Who Needs A Prenuptial Agreement?

From a general point of view, every couple needs to sign a prenuptial agreement before they sign the dotted line on the marriage certificate. However, the prenuptial agreement is of more importance to couples who find themselves in certain situations. For example, if the husband is co-owner of a business and there was no prenuptial agreement signed, his (former) wife may end up being enlisted as a partner/part-owner of the business (albeit an unwanted one) in the event of divorce.

Similarly, if one partner has a heavy debt load at the time of coming into the marriage, the other partner may have to bear the burden of continuing to service these debts after a divorce.

What Are The Benefits Of A Prenuptial Agreement?

One of the main benefits of prenuptial agreements is that they reduce the likelihood of conflict in the unfortunate event that spouses end up going separate ways. Even if the couple did not have an abundance of assets at the time of getting married, the prenuptial agreement contains guidelines on distribution of assets acquired during the time of the marriage. This creates grounds for an amicable divorce with minimal conflict.

Prenuptial agreements are also beneficial in the sense that they can be used to safeguard the future of children that may be born into the marriage. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, it is very easy for a wife (for example) to be allocated assets that the husband had intended to leave for his children.

On What Grounds Can A Prenuptial Agreement Be Contested?

Involuntary execution is among the most common grounds for contestation of prenuptial agreements. For validity, both parties should enter into the prenuptial agreement voluntarily and without undue influence.

Prenuptial agreements can also be contested if they violate public policy. Remember that these agreements are not meant to encourage divorce. Therefore, clauses or provisions within the agreement that are seen to encourage divorce may be sufficient grounds for contestation.

For more information on prenuptial agreements, contact a professional family lawyer, such as those at Marino Law.


31 December 2015

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