Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements

An experienced attorney at MVTC can guide you through the process of drafting a pre- or postnuptial agreement that works for you and your spouse.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, premarital agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” is a contract entered into before a marriage or domestic partnership. The substance of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes considerations related to finances and property such as:

  • Protecting each spouse’s separate property from becoming community property of both spouses
  • Providing that some or all of the income a spouse earns after marriage will be the spouse’s separate property, rather than community property.
  • Limiting or eliminating each party’s right to obtain spousal support from the other in the event of divorce or separation
  • Governing each party’s liability for debts incurred during marriage as between the parties; or
  • Limiting each party’s right to a share of the other’s property on divorce.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, except that they are entered into after a couple is married.  Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can head off disputes over money by forcing the spouses to think about and agree upon these matters before disputes arise.  You may want to consider a postnuptial agreement when your relationship changes due to:

  • Career change
  • Inheritance
  • Childbirth or adoption

Pre- and postnuptial agreements should also spell out what will happen if the marriage breaks up.  Otherwise, the disposition of assets will be determined under state law as interpreted by a judge.  Such dispositions may not be what you and your spouse anticipated.