prenuptial-agreement

Prenuptial Agreement

2 signers
1First Party
2Second Party
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Free Downloadable Prenuptial Agreement

A Prenuptial Agreement, or “prenup,” is a contract couples enter into before marriage to define the financial and property rights of each spouse should the marriage end in separation, specifically by death or divorce. While wealthy individuals typically use the agreement, people of all backgrounds can outline terms that can benefit themselves and their relationship with their partners.
Prenuptial Agreement

Why is a Prenuptial Agreement important?

A prenuptial agreement is a marriage agreement that outlines the financial and property rights of a couple should they ever divorce. This includes: Separate or Non-marital Property Marital Property (i.e., community or common law property) Business Ownership Savings and Retirement Alimony and Spousal Support

How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Work?

The document should mention that both the parties have made fair, and honest disclosure of all their crucial financial information to one another. Either you can appoint separate attorneys or the unrepresented party should indicate in the document that they had a chance to consult independent counsel and chose not to.‌ In some states, a state-mandated waiting period must occur between the parties receiving the document and signing the document. For example, in CA, the waiting period is 7 days. A contract that is considered “unconscionable” by the courts is unfair or contains unreasonable or impossible terms. The courts will not enforce such a contract. The specific requirements of signature vary from state to state, but both parties must sign the agreement. The document must also be notarized and witnessed by at least one impartial party, such as a notary public.
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Identification of Debts and Assets

In this process, the lawyer should identify the separate property and significant debts owned by each spouse before the marriage to ensure they keep ownership in the event of a divorce. Under most marriage laws, ownership of separate property ends with the beginning of the marriage. A divorce case can become contentious if a spouse needs to prove ownership of specific assets. So prenups are crucial for establishing your rights to your property.

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Community Property

In most states, anything acquired or earned during the marriage becomes the property of both parties. States like California, which follows community property law, will divide property in a 50/50 split when you get a divorce. If you and your spouse want to divide community property differently, the premarital agreement will clarify this.

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Alimony

Both parties have the option of agreeing to a set amount for spousal support, or they can waive it entirely by mutual consent. However, both parties should be aware that circumstances may change. The court will often not enforce a prenup if it severely disadvantages one party, even if they voluntarily and knowingly entered into the agreement.

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The Infidelity Clause

Some prenuptial agreements may include a morality clause such as an infidelity clause. If a party discovers their spouse is having an extramarital affair, the cheating spouse must award the injured party compensation like a monetary sum. Such a clause is uncommon, and most states will be reluctant to enforce it since there is an inherent difficulty in proving infidelity in court due to the document having unclear wording.

FAQ About Our Prenuptial Agreement Template

‌‌Yes, you can write a prenup without a lawyer. It isn’t a legal requirement that you have one when writing the agreement, but you should at least hire a lawyer to review the document to ensure it follows your state’s requirements. What is highly recommended for the document to be considered valid in the court’s eyes is for both parties to individually seek legal counsel when negotiating. Otherwise, the court may feel that both parties do not fully understand the terms outlined in the document and decide not to uphold the agreement.

‌No, you can’t get a prenup after marriage because once the parties are married, a different set of rules regarding ownership and division of property comes into play. A document called a postnuptial agreement can be used after the parties are married. It divides property in the same way, and it is subject to the same legal requirements as a prenuptial agreement.‌

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