A prenuptial agreement is a contract between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage that puts their wishes in the event of death, separation or divorce into a legally binding agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is a contract between spouses after marriage that spells out what will occur in the event of death, separation or divorce.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. These agreements are enforceable under Maryland contract law.
There are certain procedures and precautions that must be taken to ensure that the contract will be enforceable if needed.
As with any contract, parties can include any provisions within their agreements including:
- property division
- right of the use of any property
- spousal support or alimony
- death benefits
- any other provision that is not in violation of any Maryland law
The parties may use a will or trust to carry out the intent of the agreement.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements generally cannot address child custody or child support, as the court has a duty to determine or confirm that custody and child support are in the best interest of the child.
Entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is often the best gift you can give yourself and your family.
Instead of viewing it as planning for divorce, view it as planning for the security of your family.
When you enter into this type of agreement, you are entering into a contract, so it is essential that you have an attorney review the document to ensure it addresses all of your needs and the needs of your family.
You should never sign a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement without having it reviewed by a qualified attorney who only represents your interests.
As time passes, you should have an attorney review the document as changes in life, both financial and personal, often necessitate changes in or updates to the agreement.
Agreements are a pragmatic way to address financial disparities in the future.
FLAG attorneys are experienced in contract law and, for a relatively small financial investment, you will have peace of mind for years to come.
The goal of any contract is to memorialize your intentions into a written document. We hope that your life is filled with positive experiences; however, should problems arise, being proactive by allowing FLAG to educate you and assist with the drafting of an agreement will give you one less concern when life’s difficult times occur.