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Encyclopedia > Prenuptial agreement
Family law
Entering into marriage
Prenuptial agreement  · Marriage
Common-law marriage
Same-sex marriage
Legal states similar to marriage
Cohabitation  · Civil union
Domestic partnership
Registered partnership
Dissolution of marriage
Annulment  · Divorce  · Alimony
Issues affecting children
Paternity  · Legitimacy  · Adoption
Legal guardian  · Ward
Emancipation of minors
Parental responsibility
Contact (including Visitation)
Residence in English law
Custody  · Child support
Areas of possible legal concern
Spousal abuse  · Child abuse
Child abduction
Adultery  · Bigamy  · Incest
Conflict of Laws Issues
Marriage  · Nullity  · Divorce

A prenuptial agreement or antenuptial agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a contract entered into by two people prior to marriage or civil union. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for the division of property should the couple divorce and any rights to spousal support during or after the dissolution of marriage. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Family Law was a television drama starring Kathleen Quinlan as a divorced lawyer who attempted to start her own law firm after her lawyer husband took all their old clients. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... Common-law marriage (or common law marriage), sometimes called informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute is, historically, a form of interpersonal status in which a man and a woman are legally married. ...   CA, CT, MD, NY, NJ, OR, RI, VT, WA See also Civil union Registered partnership Domestic partnership Timeline of same-sex marriage Listings by country This box:      Same-sex marriage is a term for a governmentally, socially, or religiously recognized marriage in which two people of the same sex live... “Living in sin” redirects here. ... As unregistered cohabitation Recognised in some regions Recognised prior to legalisation of same-sex marriage Netherlands (nationwide) (1998) Spain (12 of 17 communities) (1998) South Africa (nationwide) (1999) Belgium (nationwide) (2000) Canada (QC, NS and MB) (2001) Recognition debated See also Same-sex marriage Registered partnership Domestic partnership Common-law... A domestic partnership (known as Pairage) is a legal or personal relationship between individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are not joined in a traditional marriage or a civil union. ... LGBT rights Around the world · By country History · Groups · Activists Declaration of Montreal Same-sex relationships Marriage · Adoption Opposition · Discrimination Violence This box:      As unregistered cohabitation Recognised in some regions Recognised prior to legalisation of same-sex marriage Netherlands (nationwide) (1998) Spain (12 of 17 communities) (1998) South Africa (nationwide... Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. ... For the record label, see Divorce Records. ... In many countries alimony, maintenance or spousal support is an obligation established by law that is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during the marriage (or civil union) unless they are legally separated, though in some instances the obligation to support... In law, Paternity is the legal acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a father and his child usually based on biological factors, but sometimes based on social factors. ... Freiheitsrechte Recht auf Leben, Freiheit, Eigentum, Sicherheit der Person Allgemeine, nur durch Gesetz beschränkbare Handlungsfreiheit Freiheit von willkürlichen Eingriffen in die Privatsphäre (Wohnung, Briefgeheimnis etc. ... For other uses, see Adoption (disambiguation). ... A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. ... In law, a ward is someone placed under the protection of a legal guardian. ... Emancipation of minors is a legal mechanism by which a person below the age of majority (adulthood) gains certain rights, generally identical to those of adults. ... In the states of the European Union and elsewhere, parental responsibility refers to the rights and privilieges which underpin the relationship between a child and either its parents or those adults who have a significant role in its life. ... In Family Law, contact (or in the United States, visitation) is one of the general terms which denotes the level of contact a parent or other significant person in a childs life can have with that child. ... In Family Law, residence is an Order of the Family court under s8 Children Act 1989 following the breakdown of a marriage and determining where the child(ren) are to live and with whom. ... Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are sometimes used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parents duty to care for the child. ... In many countries, child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated. ... Spousal abuse refers to a wide spectrum of abuse. ... Child abuse is the physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others. ... Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older person. ... Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse. ... Polygamy, literally many marriages in ancient Greek, is a marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously (as opposed to monogamy where each person has a maximum of one spouse at any one time). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Private International Law, International Private Law, or Conflict of Laws is that branch of law regulating all lawsuits involving a foreign law element where a difference in result will occur depending on which laws are applied as the lex causae. ... In Conflict of Laws, the issue of marriage has assumed increasing public policy significance in a world of increasing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community existence. ... In Conflict of Laws, the issue of nullity (known as annulment in the United States) in Family Law inspires a wide response among the laws of different states as to the circumstances in which a marriage will be valid, invalid or null. ... In modern society, the role of marriage and its termination through divorce have become political issues. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... As unregistered cohabitation Recognised in some regions Recognised prior to legalisation of same-sex marriage Netherlands (nationwide) (1998) Spain (12 of 17 communities) (1998) South Africa (nationwide) (1999) Belgium (nationwide) (2000) Canada (QC, NS and MB) (2001) Recognition debated See also Same-sex marriage Registered partnership Domestic partnership Common-law... Division of property also known as equitable distribution of parties which is a judicial division of property rights and obligations between spouses during the process of the dissolution of marriage (divorce). ... For the record label, see Divorce Records. ... In many countries alimony, maintenance or spousal support is an obligation established by law that is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during the marriage (or civil union) unless they are legally separated, though in some instances the obligation to support... Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage, which can be contrasted with an annulment which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support, child custody and distribution of property. ...

Contents

Types

There are two types of prenuptial agreements: marriage contract for people who are married or about to be married, and cohabitation agreement for unmarried couples. A variation for people who are already married is a postnuptial agreement. The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Legal recognition

Laws around the world vary in their recognition of such agreements.


Historically, judges in the United States frowned upon prenuptial agreements as corrupting what marriage was supposed to stand for, and often they would not recognize them. Nowadays they are recognized, although they may not always be enforced. It is common to have legal advice to the effect that both parties should have lawyers present during the signing, for a judge to ensure that neither party has been coerced into the agreement.


Prenuptial agreements are, at best, a partial solution to obviating some of the risks of marital property disputes in times of divorce. They are not the final word.


U.S. Law

In the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Likewise, in all jurisdictions, five elements are required for a valid prenuptial agreement:

  1. agreement must be in writing (oral prenups are always prohibited);
  2. must be executed voluntarily;
  3. full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution;
  4. the agreement cannot be unconscionable;
  5. it must be executed by both parties (not their attorneys) "in the manner required for a deed to be recorded", known as an acknowledgement, before a notary public.

Of note, unlike all other contract law, consideration is not required, although a minority of courts point to the marriage itself as the consideration. Through a prenup, a spouse can completely waive rights to property, alimony or inheritance as well as the elective share and get nothing in return. An unconscionable transaction is a contract that is unenforceable because the consideration offered is lacking or is so obviously inadequate that to enforce the contract would be unfair to the party seeking to escape the contract. ... Look up Acknowledgement on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Did you mean to spell: acknowledgment? Explanatory Detail Acknowledgement may refer to— Acknowledgment an expression of recognition, understanding, or truth of something, as well as a statement of gratitude. ... Consideration is something that is done or promised in return for a contractual promise. ...


A sunset provision may be inserted into a prenuptial agreement, specifying that after a certain amount of time, the agreement will expire. In a few states, such as Maine, the agreement will automatically lapse after the birth of a child, unless the parties renew the agreement. In other states, a certain number of years of marriage will cause a prenuptial agreement to lapse. In states that have adopted the UPAA (Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act), no sunset provision is provided by statute, but one could be privately contracted for. In public policy, a sunset provision or sunset clause is a provision in a statute or regulation that terminates or repeals all or portions of the law after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend it. ...


Catholicism

Prenuptial agreements are a matter of civil law, so Catholic canon law does not rule them out in principle (for example, to determine how property would be divided among the children of a prior marriage upon the death of one spouse). Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Canon law is the term used for...


In practice, prenuptials may run afoul of Church law in a number of ways. For example, they cannot subject a marriage to a condition concerning the future (such as an agreement about the dividing of assets in case of divorce). The Code of Canon Law provides: "A marriage subject to a condition about the future cannot be contracted validly." (CIC 1102)


The Canon Law: Letter and Spirit, a commentary on canon law, explains that condition may be defined as "a stipulation by which an agreement is made contingent upon the verification or fulfillment of some circumstance or event that is not yet certain." It goes on to state that "any condition concerning the future attached to matrimonial consent renders marriage invalid." For example, a marriage would be invalid if the parties stipulated that they must have children or they have the right to divorce and remarry someone else.


A case study

Writer Erica Jong has been married four times. In the late 1990s Jong wrote an article about her fourth marriage in the magazine Interview. Since she and her prospective husband (a divorce lawyer) knew much about the hazards of marriage, they drew up a prenuptial agreement. After ten years, they noticed that they had never taken it out of the drawer where it had resided since its signing. She and her husband decided that it was no longer needed, so they ceremonially burned it. This act has become a tradition in some circles.[citation needed] Erica Jong (née Mann, born March 26, 1942, in New York City, New York) is an American author and educator. ... interview An interview is a conversation between two or more people (The interviewer and the interviewee) where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee. ...


External links

  • Marriage & Divorce: When Prenups Fail
  • Help! He Wants Me to Sign A Prenup - Guide For Women

  Results from FactBites:
 
Prenuptial agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (319 words)
A prenuptial agreement or antenuptial agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a contract entered into by two people prior to marriage or civil union.
Nowadays prenuptial agreements are valid in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
For instance, in Ontario, the Family Law Act [2] defines a marriage contract, which is a prenuptial agreement for married couples and a cohabitation agreement, which is a similar agreement for unmarried couples.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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