Premarital Agreement - Prenup

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When deciding to enter into a marriage, people rarely think about what comes in case of divorce or one of the spouse's deaths. Drawing up a prenuptial contract is a simple and wise legal step to protect your rights and property subject to marriage dissolution. Get a set of premarital agreement templates specific to your state by responding to the questions below. Premarital agreements.
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Premarital Agreement Description - Prenuptial Agreements

It’s a common prejudice that prenuptial agreements are a privilege of wealthy people. In reality, it's a much broader concept than simply protecting both partners’ personal assets in case of divorce. It indicates all major rights and responsibilities of both spouses related to common and separate possessions.

The premarital contracts help couples decide a wide range of important financial issues concerning their future marriage and its dissolution (if any happens), e.g.,:

  • to clearly set all rights and responsibilities of the spouses during their marriage;
  • to define whether spouses want to keep their premarital (and sometimes even postmarital) belongings in separate property;
  • to liberate a person from liability for their partner's debts;
  • to help in resolving litigations with common asset distribution subject to the divorce process;
  • to determine how bank accounts and family savings will be managed;
  • to provide children from previous marriages with rights for inheriting their parent’s premarital assets, etc.

Signing a prenuptial contract is not mandatory, but it’s certainly advised for couples to discuss and put on paper all financial matters, bringing more clarity to their future life and avoiding possible disputes. Otherwise, only your local state laws will apply in property division in case of marriage breakdown.

We’ve prepared a ready-to-use package of prenuptial contract templates and sorted them by state. To obtain the one that suits you, choose the state of your current residence and answer a couple of questions. Each package contains the following forms:

1. Prenuptial Premarital Agreement without Financial Statements. This document contains general terms and conditions of the agreement, mutual rights and responsibilities of the parties, information on the independent counsels, etc. The form precisely indicates which assets should be transferred to their spouse in the event of divorce.

2. Amendment to Prenuptial or Premarital Agreement. This form allows parties to make changes to the existing prenuptial agreement or cancel some of its terms any time before or during the marriage (unless the couple is in the process of separation or divorce). Both parties must agree on all the alterations made. Simply add this form to your previously signed document and sign it in the presence of a witness to apply your changes.

3. Financial Statements only in Connection with Prenuptial Premarital Agreement. This is a detailed report on all assets and liabilities of the prospective spouses, including their real estate, vehicles, cash, stocks, dividends, etc., with their current market value. Both parties should complete it separately in detail, certifying each page with a signature, and providing a copy to their future spouse.

4. Revocation of Premarital or Prenuptial Agreement. This form proclaims that both parties wish to cancel their prenuptial agreement voluntarily. The couple revoking their prenup can decide to draw up another contract or not to have it anymore. Anyway, the revocation template should be agreed upon and signed by both parties, usually in the presence of a notary. And just as with amendments, revocations are possible only before or during the marriage and can’t be made during separation or divorce processes.

FAQ - Premarital Agreement

What is the purpose of a premarital agreement?

Premarital agreements aim to help a couple decide on how their legal rights and property will be controlled after they get married. It’s a working legal instrument of resolving litigations and disputes on asset division in the event of marriage dissolution or one of the spouse’s deaths. Along with estate issues, prenuptial contracts help to protect one party from debts and liabilities of another one and guarantee children from prior marriages inheriting their parent’s separate property.

What are the requirements for a prenuptial agreement?

Each state has its own specifics in family law and premarital agreements. However, there are several general rules to follow. All premarital contracts must be in writing, containing full asset disclosure from both future spouses, signed by both parties, and witnessed. It must be fair for each party, with no evidence of coercion and false information.

Are premarital agreements enforceable?

Yes, they have legal effect and are considered by the court during divorce processes if they meet basic legal requirements. These contracts must be in writing only, properly read and signed by both parties without compulsion of any kind.

Can I create my own prenup without a lawyer?

Yes, you can write a premarital contract on your own; the law doesn't oblige parties to hire lawyers for that. To save on legal counsel, take advantage of the ready-to-use package of contract templates from the US Legal Forms website. To obtain it, answer a couple of questions and sign up for an account. Remember to check your state-specific requirements to make your prenup legally valid and court-acceptable.

What can’t be included in a premarital agreement?

Although prenuptials can cover a wide range of mutual financial rights and liabilities, there’s a list of things you can’t include in your document. Evidently, no illegal possessions can be a subject of the contract. Also, child custody and support can’t be included, as it’s only the court that has the final word in that. Premarital contracts also can’t contain personal interests and expectations as well as anything that can potentially push a party to enact a divorce.

When should a party review a premarital agreement?

This is all at your and your spouse's discretion. Usually, couples decide to amend their premarital contract when their financial situation radically changes over the years. For instance, when parties have some additional property they want to add to their agreement or redistribute it. Also, having children, whom you want to guarantee to inherit some of your assets, can be a reason for renegotiating and amending your prenup. Anyway, bear in mind that reviewing or canceling your premarital contract in separation or during the divorce process is prohibited.

How long do prenups last?

Typically, premarital agreements don’t have an expiration date. They last for the entirety of the marriage until its dissolution or one of the spouses dies. However, couples may decide to cancel their prenup, so the initial contract expires once the revocation form is agreed upon and signed. Also, you can add a so-called sunset clause to your agreement, setting the termination date by your choice, e.g., to renegotiate the terms of a new contract.

How To Complete Premarital Agreement Questionnaire Prenuptial Agreement?

Although each case is individual, there are some common pieces of advice for drawing a fair prenuptial agreement that will effectively work for both you and your spouse.

1. Discuss your wish with your prospective spouse. This can be quite tough as many people still regard prenups as a matter of distrust. Try to explain your motives and start the process once your partner agrees.

2. Make a list of your current property. Include all your estates, financial assets, jewelry, shares in a family business, savings, deposit accounts, bonuses and stocks in your current employing company, and so on.

3. Write down your credits and debts. This will bring more clearance in the contract regarding your financial state.

4. Think of how you would like your future common property to be used. What assets do you want to leave in a separate proprietorship? Will you have common deposits and how will they be managed?

5. Negotiate the terms with your partner. Both of you should agree on every term of the contract before executing it. If any clause doesn’t satisfy your partner, keep on negotiating until you both endorse it.

6. Download the package of prenup templates from the US Legal Forms library. To obtain one, you need an active account with a valid subscription plan. Answer the questions from the questionnaire, register an account, and choose a subscription plan to get the package downloaded to your device.

7. Complete the copies. Go through every clause, verifying everything is correct. Re-read the contract to ensure you haven’t missed anything significant. Get an independent legal advisor, if wished, to ensure all terms are mutually fair and meet your state requirements.

8. Sign the contract with your partner. Both parties must confirm their wish to step into a premarital agreement with their valid signatures in the presence of a witness.

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