The scope of a pre-nuptial
agreement can be as broad or as narrow as the
couple wants it to be. Agreements usually govern
the use, ownership and disposition of real and
personal property acquired both before and after
the marriage, whether the marriage terminates
by death of a spouse or a divorce.
In the event of divorce, the agreement may provide
for a waiver of alimony or provide for amounts
payable as taxable alimony or non-taxable support.
The agreement may call for the amount of alimony
paid or property conveyed to vary, depending upon
financial circumstances or the length of the marriage.
The amount of property to be received by the less-advantaged
spouse usually increases with the length of the
marriage. What follows is a list, although clearly
not exhaustive, of those subjects which an agreement
||1. Treatment of pre-existing property and
2. Treatment of property acquired after marriage;
3. Treatment of property acquired after the
marriage by gift, devise, bequest or inheritance;
4. Purchase of future residences;
5. Treatment of Pension Plans (release of
which requires signing documents after the
6. Treatment of earnings;
7. Payment of joint and separate expenses;
8. Payment of debts;
9. Disability of either party;
10. Termination of marriage either by divorce
11. Duration of the agreement;
12. Filing of tax returns;
13. Maintenance of medical and life insurance;
14. Payment of fees for preparation of the
15. Delineation of household responsibilities;
16. Payment of legal fees for preparation
of the Agreement;
17. Whether the Agreement has a limited life.
Entering a valid agreement requires full disclosure
of income, assets and debts. The financial data
must be reviewed carefully before the substance
of the agreement can be addressed meaningfully.
A summary of income, assets (including such uncertain
expectancies as inheritances or settlement of
a law suit) and debts for each party should be
attached to the agreement.
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