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What is a prenup?

A Prenuptial Agreement is a document that you and your husband or wife create prior to becoming legally married. It outlines the financial responsibilities of each partner in case you separate or divorce.

A Prenuptial Agreement can also be called a/an:

  • Marriage Prenup
  • Prenup
  • Premarital Agreement
  • Antenuptial Agreement
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What does a prenup cover?

Prenuptial agreements typically cover the division of:

  • Properties
  • Finances
  • Businesses
  • Investments
  • Inheritances
  • Joint debts
  • Alimony (spousal support)

A prenup generally does not include terms related to children, such as child care, child support, or custody and visitation rights for existing or future children.

Should I get a prenup?

Couples that are planning to get married can benefit from a prenup to determine individual and shared ownership of assets, property, and more.

A Prenuptial Agreement is especially beneficial for couples who want to:

  • Protect an individual inheritance, investment, business, or other asset
  • Protect individual ownership of property
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Does a prenup protect pre-existing assets?

A prenup can protect pre-existing assets obtained by one partner from being claimed by the other, but those assets usually need to be detailed in the agreement.

For example:

  • If one partner started a business before the marriage, a prenup could indicate that any earnings obtained by the business after the couple married would go to the partner who originally owned the business.
  • If one partner is to receive an inheritance in the future from one of their family members, a prenup could ensure that the inheritance goes to that partner alone.

Can a prenup be invalid?

If a prenup was not created in accordance with state laws, or was not created in good faith, it's possible for the agreement to be voided.

For example, a prenup could be declared invalid if:

  • One or both partners failed to disclose all owned assets
  • There is evidence that one partner signed under duress (was forced to unwillingly comply)
  • The prenup includes content that is illegal
  • The prenup includes content that promotes divorce or separation

It is recommended each partner review the prenup with their own lawyer to help avoid issues with the validity of the document.

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Looking for another type of document?

One of these forms may be what you're looking for:

  • A Cohabitation Agreement is for unmarried adults in a relationship who are living together.
  • A Separation Agreement divides property and assets for a married couple who wish to separate for a time or eventually divorce.
  • A Child Travel Consent is used when a child is travelling alone, with one parent, or with an adult that is not their parent (such as on a school trip).
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