Antenuptial Agreements / Prenuptial Agreements

An ante-nuptial agreement is a contract made prior to the parties' marriage. It arranges for the disposal of property and alimony rights to a spouse in the event a marriage fails. Usually, ante-nuptial agreements are used to deny a spouse access to assets held by the other spouse at the point in time that the marriage becomes official. Execution of this type of agreement means that both spouses agree that the court, in the event of a divorce, will not be used to resolve alimony and/or equitable distribution disputes. Full disclosure of financial assets and income is required for agreements of this type to be enforceable. The agreement is null if one spouse is left destitute. Any agreement which leaves one spouse with a standard of living far below that which was enjoyed during the marriage, may not be upheld by the courts. The courts will also make sure that no fraud or duress existed in the execution of the agreement.