A marriage contract is a document of concurrence, an agreement, that dictates what will happen in case you separate. Does that sound romantic? Definitely not! However, since marriage is an event fraught with legal implications, marriage contracts discussions should be given more importance than discussing invitations, cake, and venue. 

If you’re all set to tie the knot with your beloved but you don’t have any idea about the marriage contract, here is a breakdown of what you should know before you get married. 

A marriage agreement – What is it?

A marriage agreement is an agreement made between a married couple before getting married with the approval of an attorney. Before the marriage happens, the spouse is supposed to get in touch with a separate attorney. The agreement has to be in writing and this is also called a prenuptial agreement. 

Prenuptial Agreement – What is it?

A prenuptial agreement is a compliance between two people who wish to marry each other and this accord usually deals with the arrangement of property. This kind of agreement is not just meant for the wealthy but for all. While the scope of the prenuptial agreement can be moderate, it can at times extend to a wide array of properties, which also includes spousal support.

A prenuptial agreement lists all properties of each spouse – everything that they own including their debts and other obligations. The agreement also speaks about property rights that will be enjoyed post marriage. 

Golden Rules of Prenuptial Agreement

When a lawyer drafts a pre-marriage agreement, you have to follow 4 basic rules which are as follows:

  • Stay honest: Spouses need to be authentic and fair while listing liabilities and assets
  • Separate counsel: Each spouse should hire a separate legal counsel for arbitration
  • Sign Before: The pre-marriage agreement should be signed unquestionably
  • Fair: The prenuptial agreement should be reasonable and fair

Prenuptial agreement – Who needs one?

Usually, a prenuptial agreement is used for the protection of assets, property, and finances. Here are the valid reasons why someone may need a pre-marriage agreement. 

  • Protects you against each other’s debts: The prenuptial agreement is used to protect each spouse from each other’s debts. If required, a spouse can also include several other issues into it. 
  • Dodges arguments: In case you call off your marriage, having a prenuptial agreement will help you avert future arguments with your spouse. 
  • Exemplifies financial rights: During the event of getting married, the spouses may want to elucidate their financial responsibilities and rights, regardless of whether they have children. 
  • Segregate property to children: Before the event of a marriage, in case any of the spouses already have a child, then an attorney should be appointed for the children separately. A part of their property should be assigned for the children and then the remaining property can be divided between the spouses. 

How does a prenuptial agreement benefit a couple?

  • Throw light upon the various agreements between the spouses
  • Diminish chances of unnecessary quarrels over property between the spouses
  • There can be clear-cut disputes in the near future 
  • Helps estate planning in a straightforward manner
  • Payments of attorneys can be curtailed during a divorce in the future
  • The rights of grandchildren and children from a previous marriage can be safeguarded
  • Describes a property that is community property or separate property. Such property should also be distributed fairly between the spouse

To know more on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, you may check out the website of Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie, LLC. A marriage agreement is more than a simple contract that can be entered only with a man and a woman.