Pre-nuptial Agreement, brief explanation

A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, commonly shortened to prenup or prenupt, is a legal agreement by engaged couple who’s about to entered into prior to marriage, The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly contain provisions for division of property or assets and spousal support if there’s occurence of divorce or breakup or failure of marriage. They may also contain terms for the forfeiture of assets on the grounds of adultery, furthermore it may also includes the conditions of guardianship.

A prenuptial agreement often include “sunset” clause or provision. This usually indicates the validity of of prenuptial agreement after a given specific period of time, or it will be automatically lapse after the married couple has a child. Unless both parties agrees to renew the agreement. Sunset clauses or provision vary from state to state. If it is ignored the prenuptial agreement is void. In this way some couples then construct a postnuptial agreement to change the terms of the prenuptial agreement. This agreement done within the marriage.

In some countries, including the Netherlands, the prenuptial agreement is not only provides for the occurence of divorce, but also to protect some property during the marriage, for instance in case of a bankruptcy. In countries like Canada, France, Italy, and Germany, have matrimonial regimes, in addition to, or some cases, in lieu of prenuptial agreements.

As of 2007, England and Wales do not enforce prenuptial agreements, but agreements may be upheld at the court’s discretion. These countries also do not have a provision for marital regimes.

In the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Likewise, in most jurisdictions, five elements to be considered for the validity of  prenuptial agreement:

1. The agreement must be in written (oral prenups are forbidden)
2. The agreement must be executed voluntarily in behalf of both parties;
3. Full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution for if one fails to disclosure some important matter the prenuptial agreement will be considered invalid;
4. The agreement cannot be morally or ethically unscrupulous;
5. It must be executed by both parties (not their attorneys) known as an acknowledgment,and must occur before a notary public.