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What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

It is common for individuals to enter into an agreement before getting married. This type of agreement comes in the form of a contract wherein provisions are made in the event of a divorce or breakup. Such provisions may include spousal support, child custody, and division of property. This contract is referred to as a prenuptial agreement.

Also known as a antenuptial or premarital agreement, the prenuptial agreement is entered into before a couple becomes married, otherwise it is known as a postnuptial agreement if it is done after the marriage. This legal definition of a prenuptial agreement is derived from the Statute of Frauds. Colloquially known as a prenup, it serves as a legally binding contract upon both spouses. If a prenuptial agreement includes a sunset clause, it may be considered void after a certain period of time or if the couple has a child.

A prenuptial agreement must fulfill 5 conditions in the US to be legally binding upon all involved parties. The first condition is that it is written. Oral prenuptial agreements are not considered by a court of law. Second, it must be voluntarily signed by each individual and third, it must be done so before a notary to validate it. Fourth, a prenuptial agreement may be void or invalid if one individual does not disclose important information or misleads the other into marrying under false pretenses. Fifth, the prenuptial agreement must appeal to the standards and norms of moral and ethical acceptability of all involved parties.

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