Prenuptial Agreements Defined
Prenuptial agreements start with a declaration of the parties of their intent to marry and that the agreement does not come into effect until the marriage. Typically, a prenuptial agreement declares that all property brought into a marriage is separate property and that it remains separate properly for intestate succession and divorce purposes. The separate property is listed, or at least referenced by category. There is usually a discussion as to what might happen with the separate property in the event of (1) the death of a spouse and (2) the dissolution of marriage. There are frequently, but not always, provisions dealing with spousal support in the event of death.
Be Wary Of The Unknown!
While there may be standard Wills and even standard separations agreements, we suggest that there can be no ‘standard’ prenuptial agreement. And one entered into without much thought can be disastrous.
A client will often time present an attorney with a prenuptial agreement in a consultation setting with a request that it “be quickly reviewed to see if it is okay.” The client needs to understand that this expectation is not reasonable.
A prenuptial agreement, when property considered, frequently presents a more complex drafting challenge than a separation agreement negotiated at the time of a failed marriage.