Essentially, a prenuptial agreement lets you clarify your expectations and protect your financial interests prior to getting married. That is, a premarital agreement can be used to determine property rights and estate planning issues, as well as any potential spousal support issues.

Many couples find that a prenuptial agreement helps them to understand and agree upon their expectations with regard to property and spousal support, to know that potential areas of dispute can be resolved in advance, and this in turn leads to peace of mind.

If you have a child from a prior marriage, you may want to specify in your prenuptial agreement that certain items of property should be kept out of the marital estate and instead preserved for the benefit of your child. In this way, your premarital agreement can correspond with any estate planning documents you already have. The premarital agreement can help ensure that your spouse-to-be is in agreement with your plan.

If you intend to enter into a premarital agreement, it should be discussed, drafted, negotiated and signed well in advance of the marriage date. This is done to preclude a possible claim that the agreement was signed in a rush or under duress. Such a claim could lead to the agreement being deemed unenforceable.

For more on these matters, please see our overview of prenuptial agreements. Our attorneys can draft, review and negotiate any agreements before you sign.