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A Prenuptial Agreement is a financial contract agreed upon before two people wed. It is a two-way contract intended to protect both spouses' assets and to outline who carries the burden of specific... Read more

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Sample Prenuptial Agreement

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PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT


This Prenuptial Agreement ("Agreement") is made , by and between

, (" "), an adult residing in ,

, and (" "), an adult residing in , , in consideration of the contemplated marriage of the above-named parties. This Agreement shall not be effective until the marriage contemplated by the parties is solemnized.


RECITALS. This Agreement is made on the basis of the following facts:


  1. The parties contemplate marriage to one another in the immediate future.


  2. has been previously married. has (a) child(ren).


  3. The parties desire to define their rights and responsibilities regarding property and financial matters to the extent these can be foreseen.


AGREEMENT


In consideration of the marriage about to be entered into by and between the parties and other valuable consideration as described below, the parties mutually agree to the following:


  1. SEPARATE PROPERTY. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the following property now owned by either party shall remain and be their separate property:


    • All property, including real or personal property, the income from such property, and the investments and re-investments of such property; and,


    • All property acquired by either party by gift, devise, bequest, or inheritance.


      The property currently owned by each party is described on Exhibits A and B to this Agreement, which by this reference are incorporated into this Agreement. Exhibit A describes the property currently owned by and Exhibit B describes the property currently owned by . Such separate property of each party shall be subject exclusively to that party's own individual use, control, benefit and disposition. Neither party shall, before or after the contemplated marriage, acquire for himself or herself individually, nor for his or her assignees or creditors, any interest in the separate property of the other party, nor any right to the use, control, benefit, or disposition of such property.

      1. Waiver. Additionally, each party waives, releases, and relinquishes any ownership or right in the separate property of the other, including the right to use, control, benefit, or dispose of the other's separate property.


      2. Disposal of Property. Each party shall have the right, at all times, to dispose of or encumber any or all of his or her separate property by deed, bill of sale, gift, trust, will, mortgage, encumbrance, pledge, lien, or charge, without limitation, merely upon his or her own individual signature or act, without the necessity of any joinder, action, or consent by the other party.


      3. Community Property. If the parties now reside in or later become residents of a state, territory or foreign country and under the laws of such jurisdiction the property and interests of the couple are treated differently than as contemplated by this Agreement (such as a community property state) the property interests of the parties shall nevertheless remain as stated in this Agreement.


      4. Cooperation Regarding Documents. There may be times when a party ("Owner"), dealing with his or her own separate property, desires to have the other party ("Non-owner") sign a document for the apparent purpose of relinquishing of record any apparent right of the Non-owner, arising by reason of the marital relationship. Upon request, the Non-owner shall so sign any documents solely for the above purpose. The signing of such documents shall not impose any personal liability upon the Non-owner.


      5. Pension Benefits. Each party reserves the right to retain as his or her sole and absolute separate property, the entire interest in pension benefits now vested, and the right to manage, control, transfer, and convey all such property and dispose of the same by will, beneficiary designation or otherwise, without any interference from the other. The parties acknowledge that this Agreement shall constitute an effective waiver of any rights in the other's pension benefit plans. Furthermore, each party agrees to execute whatever additional waiver document may be necessary or useful to confirm such waiver of rights to the other party's pension benefit plans.


      6. Each party waives the right of reimbursement under Family Code 2640, for the party's separate property contributions to the acquisition of property of the community property estate, and the party's separate property contributions to the acquisition of property of the other party's separate property estate, regardless of tracing to the source.


  2. RESIDENCE. It is the intention of the parties that the residence presently owned by

    located at , ,

    , shall not be affected by this Agreement.


    The expenses associated with the maintenance of the residence shall be paid as follows:


    1. Mortgage payments shall be made equally by both parties.


    2. Payment of all real estate taxes shall be made equally by both parties.

    3. Insurance premiums for such residence shall be paid equally by both parties.


  3. DEBTS. Each party agrees to be separately liable for his or her debts incurred prior to the marriage. During the course of the marriage, both parties shall be responsible for any expenses incurred for the basic necessities of life, such as food, basic clothing needs, shelter, and medical care.


    With respect to credit card accounts, each party shall retain separate credit card accounts for his or her respective use, if desired.


  4. JOINT PROPERTY. The parties agree that all property, whether real or personal, acquired by either of them after the marriage ceremony using joint funds, shall be owned by the parties as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, and not as tenants in common.


    Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude either party from making provisions for the other party under the terms of a Last Will and Testament, signed before or after the marriage, in which one party provides for the distribution of property to the other in excess of any provisions contained in this Agreement.


    Furthermore, nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the parties from voluntarily electing to commingle a part or all of the income from their respective properties for investment purposes or for the purpose of jointly providing for their mutual support and living expenses, or for other reasons.


  5. TAXES. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as waiving (i) any rights of the parties to report their income for federal or state income tax purposes in the same manner as permissible for any other spouses, (ii) any rights provided for spouses under the federal gift tax laws with reference to gifts, or (iii) any rights under the federal estate tax laws with reference to any transfer to which such laws may apply. If the parties elect to file federal and state income tax returns on a joint, rather than on a separate, return with the other, this election shall not create any community property or any other rights or interests in contravention of this Agreement. If the parties elect to file a joint income tax return during their marriage, each shall be liable for any and all taxes associated with his/her separate property. In the event that and separate, tax returns shall be filed separately.


  6. SUPPORT OF CHILD(REN). , as long as married to

    , shall provide a home and reasonable support for the health, education, maintenance and support of , child(ren) of , without establishing any legal requirement to do so upon separation or dissolution of the marriage. Such support shall be provided until the child(ren) attain(s) the age of years.


  7. DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE. Each party to this Agreement understands that the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act and court decisions provide for consideration of a prenuptial agreement by the divorce court if a marriage is dissolved. The parties to this Agreement understand that some courts have disregarded property division provisions in a prenuptial

    agreement. Without in any way anticipating a dissolution or planning for a dissolution, but recognizing the realities of the world, it is the express intention of and that the following provisions shall prevail in the event of a dissolution:


    1. Each party shall have an equal interest in all property acquired by either party during the course of the marriage (except property that is merely the result of an increase in the value of property owned separately by the parties prior to the marriage, as listed on the attached schedules).


    2. Each party shall have a proportionate interest in the increase in value (during the marriage) of the homestead real estate, that proportion to reflect the relative values of the contributions, both monetary and in-kind, toward the necessary household expenses and childcare/household duties during the course of the marriage.


    3. All savings, investments, retirement accounts, and all property listed on the attached schedules as separate property (owned by a party prior to the marriage) shall remain the separate property of that party who brought such property into the marriage, including any appreciation, income, or other increase to such property.


    4. All joint property and accounts shall be divided equally.


    5. Any income tax liability, refund, or benefit in the year of the separation and/or dissolution of marriage shall be allocated prorata to the parties based upon the data which caused the tax result.


    6. The parties shall have joint custody of any children born to or adopted into the marriage. Such joint custody entitles each party to equal visitation time, or time which is otherwise fair and equitable.


  8. DISABILITY. Upon the partial or total disability of either party, the other party shall assume complete responsibility for the necessary care of the disabled party, to the full extent of all the earnings and assets of the caring party.


  9. DEATH. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed so as to waive the right of either party to inherit from the other or to forego any right of election in the estate of the other.


  10. REVOCATION. If the parties decide to revoke this Agreement, they shall do so in a written agreement, signed by both parties in the presence of a notary public or other official authorized to take oaths. Such revocation shall be ineffective until recorded with the recorder in the county where the parties maintain their primary residence or both counties if the parties are maintaining separate residences in separate counties.


  11. ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTS. Without any additional consideration, each party shall promptly, at the request of the other, execute, acknowledge and deliver from time to time whatever additional instruments may be required in order to accomplish the intent of this Agreement.

  12. DISPUTE RESOLUTION. The parties will attempt to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement through friendly negotiations amongst the parties. If the matter is not resolved by negotiation, the parties will resolve the dispute using the below Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure.


    Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement will be submitted to mediation in accordance with any statutory rules of mediation. If mediation is not successful in resolving the entire dispute or is unavailable, any outstanding issues will be submitted to final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator's award will be final, and judgment may be entered upon it by any court having proper jurisdiction.


  13. ATTORNEY'S FEES. In the event that either of the parties shall be required to bring any action or proceeding to enforce any of the provisions of this Agreement, the party prevailing in such action or proceeding shall be entitled to recover all costs of such enforcement proceeding, including reasonable attorney's fees as set by the court. No such liability shall accrue unless ten

    (10) days' prior written notice of the claimed default has been given to the alleged defaulting party, and such party may cure the default within that ten (10) day period without liability for the other party's costs or fees.


  14. FULL DISCLOSURE. Each of the parties (i) is of lawful age, (ii) is competent to contract,

    (iii) is free to enter into the marriage contemplated, (iv) has full knowledge of the other party's property, debts and income, and (v) voluntarily enters into this Agreement. Additionally, each party has full knowledge of the terms and provisions of this Agreement. Specifically, the parties acknowledge and agree that they have disclosed to the other party (prior to the signing of this Agreement), the extent and probable value of their respective individual property interests as of the date of this Agreement, by delivering schedules to the other party that reflect those interests, and which schedules were signed by the respective owner and by the party receiving the schedule. The parties specifically acknowledge receipt of the above schedules, which are understood and agreed by the parties to represent a full and complete listing of their respective property interests as of the date of this Agreement.


  15. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.


  1. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties and their respective heirs, administrators, personal representatives, successors, and assigns.


  2. This Agreement sets forth the entire Agreement between the parties with regard to the subject matter of this Agreement. All prior and contemporaneous conversations, negotiations, possible and alleged agreements, and representations with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement are waived, and merged into this Agreement.


  3. If any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting

    such provision it would become valid or enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.


  4. Each party acknowledges that he or she has been advised to seek the advice of a separate lawyer and has had the opportunity to seek the advice of a separate lawyer.


  5. This Agreement may be altered, amended, modified, revoked or canceled only by an instrument in writing, executed by and with notarial acknowledgements of the signatures, and by no other means.


Dated , , at , .






STATE OF , COUNTY OF , ss:


Notary Public


Title (and Rank)


My commission expires

EXHIBIT A


FINANCIAL INFORMATION


Assets Value


Assets Account Name, Number, Address, Value


Total Assets $


Liabilities/Debts Account Name, Number, Address, Amount


Total Liabilities/Debts $


Net Worth $


Annual Income


$

$


Total Annual Income $


I verify that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. Signed on this day of , .




I acknowledge receipt of a copy of this exhibit.



EXHIBIT B


FINANCIAL INFORMATION


Assets Value


Assets Account Name, Number, Address, Value


Total Assets $


Liabilities/Debts Account Name, Number, Address, Amount


Total Liabilities/Debts $


Net Worth $


Annual Income


$


Total Annual Income $


I verify that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. Signed on this day of , .





I acknowledge receipt of a copy of this exhibit.



Making a Prenuptial Agreement

  • What is a prenup?

    A Prenuptial Agreement is a financial contract agreed upon before two people wed. It is a two-way contract intended to protect both spouses' assets and to outline who carries the burden of specific debts. Prenups are not just for the rich and famous, they are suitable for any couple who wants to responsibly manage their finances, whether they are together or separate.

  • What are other names for a Prenuptial Agreement?

    Prenup, Premarital Agreement, Antenuptial Agreement

  • Who needs a prenup?

    If you ask your accountant or lawyer, they'd both likely say everyone. If you ask a family member or friend, you might hear a different answer. If you ask someone who has experienced a difficult divorce, they will likely say everyone, as well. Many people have opinions about prenups but ultimately, it is up to you and your future spouse to decide if your marriage will benefit from having a Prenuptial Agreement.

  • When should I use a Prenuptial Agreement?

    • Before marriage, you want to decide how assets each of you already own will be managed.

    • Your family wants to protect you or your children's expected inheritance.

    • You plan on taking on debt you don't want your spouse to be liable for.

    • You want to protect a personally-owned business or business partners ask you to shield your mutually-owned business.

    • You do not want your default state laws to control the distribution of property should you divorce.

    Prenuptial Agreements are two-sided contracts signed before a couple is married. It outlines each spouse's assets and debts, and expected future assets and debts, and how they will be managed if the partners choose to part ways, voluntarily or by death.

  • How do prenups work?

    A Prenuptial Agreement, often called a prenup, is simply a financial contract between two people before they are married. It outlines the assets and debts of each person and how assets and debts should be managed if the relationship dissolves or a spouse dies. Prenups are increasingly becoming more common as people are choosing to marry at a later age than people did in the past.

  • What does a prenup protect?

    Financially responsible partners are often now considering establishing a Prenuptial Agreement before marriage. This is especially true of those entering a second or third marriage. A well thought out prenup can protect both spouses financially.

    Here are some common reasons people choose to enter a Prenuptial Agreement:

    • To protect the inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage.

    • To protect business interests, especially if you own a company with others.

    • One partner is choosing to relinquish their career and needs to be protected if the marriage dissolves.

    • In some states, spousal support amounts can be outlined in the agreement.

    • To protect pensions or retirements earned before the marriage.

    • To protect family-owned properties such as an inherited home.

    • To separate debt obligations acquired after the marriage.

    • To shelter one person from the debt the other accumulated before marriage.

    • They want to decide what happens after a divorce rather than being subject to default state divorce laws.

    • To establish agreements amicably and fairly while relations are supportive and positive.

    • Net worth or earning potential vary greatly between the spouses and they want to build fair financial protections for both.

    • There is a large age difference between the partners and the older person's retirement and long-term healthcare requirements need to be protected.

  • How do I get a prenup?

    You can easily make a Prenuptial Agreement using our document builder. All you need is each spouse's financial information and the ability to agree on how to manage your future finances. If conversations have proven difficult, you can consult with a mediator, counselor or religious advisor to help mediate the emotional parts of the conversation that may arise. Once the agreement is composed, you may also want to have it reviewed by a lawyer. Additionally, it should be amended through the years as your financial situation changes.

  • What financial information is included in a prenup?

    While some young couples have not yet accumulated a lot of assets and debt, many couples these days do. Statistics are even showing that since millennials are getting married older than previous generations, they have more to bring to the marriage than they would have if they married ten years younger. Some unmarried people have spent a lot of time building their own business, assets and retirement accounts, and some have also amassed a volume of debt such as student loans, credit card debt, mortgages or tax debt. Whether assets or debt, all clean or dirty financial laundry will need to be aired to create a comprehensive Prenuptial Agreement. Even if you have an asset such as a pension that you plan on retaining for yourself, you still need to reveal that it exists. It is also smart to view and share your current credit reports to ensure that you are not missing a debt and can see what each other's credit worthiness currently is.

  • What are the requirements for a valid Prenuptial Agreement?

    Prenuptial Agreements must be in writing to be legally valid. Additional requirements for valid Prenuptial Agreements include:

    • Both parties must voluntarily execute the agreement.

    • Both parties must engage in full disclosure of their respective situations at the time the document is executed.

    • The agreement cannot be unreasonably unfair to one of the parties.

    • Both parties must sign the document in the presence of a notary public.

    The agreement cannot be unreasonably unfair to one of the parties. Create and customize your own Rocket Lawyer Prenuptial Agreement online, consult with a Rocket Lawyer network attorney if you have questions about your agreement or need specific legal advice, and securely eSign the document at any time and on any device.

  • What happens if I don’t sign a prenup?

    An unsigned prenup is not legally binding and is not likely to be enforceable, even if there was some verbal agreement to back it up.

  • What are the limitations of using Premarital Agreements?

    State laws control what is enforceable in a Prenuptial Agreement. If you need to know what restrictions your state may impose, you can ask a lawyer. Here are some agreements that your state may not support:

    • Parental rights. Prenuptial Agreements cannot protect or enforce parental rights. If you decide to divorce and have mutual children, you will need to go through mediation and or court to decide custody arrangements.

    • Maintenance waivers. In some cases, a prenup may not support the waiving of maintenance (alimony and palimony) payments. While that information can be included in the agreement, the court may review the maintenance at the time of divorce and change the amount if they feel the waiver is unfair.

    • Incentives for divorce. Judges may look for provisions in the agreement that appear to provide monetary incentives for divorce.

    • Non-financial agreements. Most judges do not want to see personal information such as who you are to spend holidays with in a Prenuptial Agreement. You can make those agreements in a separate document if needed.

    • Signing under duress. If the judge deems that either party appeared to sign under pressure, they may choose to not support the agreement and divide assets according to applicable state laws. For this reason, most lawyers suggest that the document is signed well in advance of the wedding.

    Legal resources for a Prenuptial Agreement: Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act

  • Does a prenup protect against or prevent having to pay alimony?

    A couple may agree to waive spousal support, also known as alimony, in their Prenuptial Agreement in the event of a divorce. Couples may also agree to provide spousal support, including any details, such as a schedule, should the marriage end up in divorce. Ultimately, if the matter comes before a judge, the judge may not only look at the terms of the Prenuptial Agreement, but may also look at the circumstances of the two parties to the agreement to determine what was agreed to, whether the agreement is valid, and whether or not enforcing it results in an unfair outcome for either of the parties.

    State laws may differ on the validity of prenups and the individual circumstances of each couple can impact the terms of the agreement. Making a customized Prenuptial Agreement can save time and money, but if your situation is complex, such as a second marriage, you may want to consider having a Rocket Lawyer network attorney review your prenup at an affordable rate.

  • Why is it important to discuss financial matters before getting married?

    There is a bit of taboo-type thinking surrounding the idea of asking for a Prenuptial Agreement. However, even if you do not compose a formal document, you need to be able to openly talk about finances and not just the fun stuff like the idea of buying a house someday, but also the hard stuff like how much debt you have, your credit rating and financial obligations to others (like child support or elderly care). Many marital disputes arise from money issues. It is beneficial if you and your partner can willingly and rationally discuss finances before problems arise.

    Your marriage may be the most important legal partnership you'll ever enter. Like business partners, you will have responsibilities, contributions, assets and debts, skills and talents, and more you are bringing to the relationship. And together your goal is to stay in business and be solvent. Solvent for both partners, whether together or not. You've already established your love and commitment to one another, the next step may be to decide how best to manage your financial future.

  • What is the difference between a Financial Prenup and a Conflict Resolution Prenup?

    A current trend is couples opting to create a Conflict Resolution Agreement rather than a traditional Prenuptial Agreement. A standard prenup template discusses what may happen financially if the couple parts, whereas a Conflict Resolution Prenup outlines ways the couple agrees to try to resolve conflict should they ever reach a point where they are considering a divorce. You would not use the Prenuptial Agreement that we provide for this type of conflict resolution. Our contract is for Financial Prenups. Instead, you might consider working with a lawyer or professional mediator to draft the agreement.

  • Can we sign a prenup after the wedding?

    While it is not common, yes, you can sign an agreement after the wedding. These are often called Postnuptial Agreements. In fact, you can make a financial agreement any time during your marriage. Most couples sign their agreement before the wedding since everyone is on good terms and excited about taking the next big step in their life. Even if you have a prenup in place before the wedding, you will need to alter it periodically as your financial situation changes or if you make large purchases.

  • Do I need a Prenuptial Agreement lawyer?

    Whether or not you should hire a Prenuptial Agreement lawyer may depend on the laws of your state (some states may require both parties have a lawyer review their prenup) and your own comfort level with the details of the agreement itself. If your state’s laws for property division after a divorce are in line with what you’d want anyway, then you might decide that a prenup is not necessary. 

    In some situations, it might be a good idea for each person to have their own lawyer who can review the prenup with an eye towards their own client’s interests, rather than having a seeming conflict of interest because they are representing both clients at the same time. Having a dedicated lawyer for each person makes the agreement stronger since neither party can later claim they lacked independent advice before signing the agreement.

  • What other legal documents might be helpful?

    When you get married, you'll want to take the time to update your Will, if you have one. You might also consider adding a Living Will or Power of Attorney.

    Last Will and Testament
    Any time your family or your assets change, you'll want to update your Last Will and Testament.

    Power of Attorney
    Using a Power of Attorney document, you can appoint someone to manage your personal and business responsibilities if you are away or incapacitated.

    Living Will
    A Living Will, often called an Advance Health Care Directive, allows you to appoint someone to carry out your end-of-life wishes.
    We also provide documents for your marriage celebration, such as service contracts for caterers, bartenders, musicians, DJs, limousine services and venue rentals.

Last reviewed or updated 05/09/2022

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