For example, each spouse may agree to deposit a certain amount of money into joint bank accounts or to set a periodic fee allowance. Similarly, a marriage agreement can determine whether common budgetary expenses, such as a mortgage, are paid by separate or common bank accounts. If you or your spouse are domiciled (separated or shared), you can indicate in a marriage agreement how the property should be affected. You can decide whether the property should remain separate or liberated. A marriage agreement, or “prenup,” is a written contract that is made before a couple gets married, usually when they are engaged. This agreement defines the financial and property rights of each spouse if the marriage ends in separation, including death or divorce. What do “abbreviations” mean for marital agreements? The decision whether or not to sign a marriage contract can be one of the most difficult decisions people face. A pre-marital agreement can evoke more than the financial aspects of marriage. However, the benefits of a prenup tend to outweigh the disadvantages. If you or your spouse incurred significant debts prior to marriage, a matrimonial agreement can protect each of you from liability for that debt. Couples can use marital agreements to work together to develop concrete financial plans and decide how to invest, save or spend their money. If a partner has children in another relationship, a prenup can ensure that separated pre-wedding assets are shared with those children. Even if there is a will, marital agreements can clarify and reinforce expectations in order to avoid costly legal disputes that are ultimately swept over the property.
A marriage contract may explicitly stipulate that the most disadvantaged partner receives or does not receive financial assistance. However, state laws differ in the question of whether a spouse can fully renounce or renounce the right to spousal support or allowance altogether. If you prefer a hands-on approach, download one of our free examples of marital agreements and fill it out yourself.