Pre-nuptial | Pre-Marital Agreement
A Pre-Marital Agreement (also called "pre-nuptial" or an "ante-nuptial agreement") is a binding legal contract entered into by and between competent adults who are contemplating marriage. The Pre-Marital Agreement allows the parties to determine their community property rights and financial responsibilities upon consummation of the marriage. A Pre-Marital Agreement defines the rights of each party prior to marriage. This can be important for one (or both) prospective spouses who have accumulated assets they wish to protect prior to marriage. The pre-martial Agreement can allow each party to the Agreement to provide that their assets, or at least a large portion of them, go to their children in the event of their death. Assets acquired by one of the parties prior to the contemplated marriage shall NOT transfer to the other spouse upon the death of the spouse that had acquired such assets. The Pre-Marital Agreement will be enforceable only if signed with the willing consent of both parties to the prospective marriage (i.e. neither party can be under duress [i.e. pressure or force from the other party or some outside source]), and only after the parties have made full disclosure of each other's financial situation to the other.
If the marriage contemplated by the prospective spouses never occurs, the Pre-Marital Agreement shall have no force or effect.
In executing a Pre-Marital Agreement the parties can avoid or alter current community property laws with regards to property already owned by the parties prior to marriage.