A marriage contact, also knowns as a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a document that allows you to settle certain issues before a separation or divorce. It’s usually best to create this type of document at the beginning of a relationship as both parties are generally in a more positive and reasonable state of mind than during a separation.
How can a marriage contract benefit you?
The Benefits Of Marriage Contracts
The main benefit of a marriage contract is that it gives you and your partner some control over how your assets will be divided should the relationship breakdown. Also, couples are more prone to abide by an agreement they helped create, as opposed to waiting on a judge to decide for them.
What You Can Include In A Marriage Contract
The most common issues that couples include in marriage contracts are the division of non-matrimonial property, personal property, and spousal support. For example, a couple may agree to not go after external family property, such as family vacation homes or family business assets.
You and your partner can also determine who will keep shared gifts, sentimental objects, and any other personal property that could become contentious during settlement negotiations.
What You May Not Include In A Marriage Contract
There are some issues a marriage contract cannot override, such as rights to a matrimonial home, or issues surrounding child custody and access. These issues already have legislation to follow.
A family law lawyer can help make sure the provisions included are lawful and reasonable. For example, it’s not reasonable to create a clause that if a couple separates, they cannot remarry.
A marriage contract can be made just before you get married, or after you get married. If couples living together prior to marriage created a cohabitation agreement, this agreement would then be turned into a marriage contract as well.