Prenuptial Agreement Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Prenuptial Agreement, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Prenuptial Agreement?

n.A written agreement between two people who are about to get married.It states the list of their assets,liabilities,authority over each other’s property,how their earnings and savings will be used and if the marriage does not last how would the property get divided and alimony be paid.This is common in people who are earning huge amount of money,have lots of property,got married before, have children from earlier marriage etc.

History and Meaning of Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a legal document that outlines what will happen to the assets of two people getting married in the event of a separation, divorce or death. It is a contract between both parties, which is created before getting married, to specify how the assets would be divided if the marriage ends.

Prenuptial agreements were primarily used by affluent families to keep family wealth within the family. They were associated with archaic beliefs that marriage is a contract for financial safety, not for love, trust, and mutual support. However, in recent times, prenuptial agreements have become common and are no longer limited to the wealthy. With marriages being formed later in life, people are coming into marriages with assets that they want to protect. Therefore, the prenuptial agreement allows couples to agree on legal arrangements that suit their respective lifestyles.

Examples of Prenuptial Agreement

  1. John and Marie signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married, outlining how their assets would be divided in case either of them dies or they get a divorce.
  2. The prenuptial agreement stated that Jake's inheritance would remain his individually, even after marriage.
  3. The prenuptial agreement determined that Jennifer's inheritance of the family vacation home would be shared with her children from her first marriage.

Legal Terms Similar to Prenuptial Agreement

  1. Postnuptial agreements: Similar to prenuptial agreements, only created after getting married.
  2. Cohabitation agreements: Signed by couples who are living together but not married. It sets out how assets would be divided if the couple separates.
  3. Binding Financial Agreements: Similar to prenuptial agreements, but are available to both married and de facto couples in Australia.