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Sample Premarital/Prenuptial Agreement

Deciding whether to sign a prenuptial agreement can be one of the most difficult decisions engaged people face. A premarital agreement can address more than just the financial aspects of marriage.

Prenups can cover any of the details of decision-making and responsibility sharing to which the parties agree in advance. Simply put, almost anyone contemplating marriage can benefit from a prenuptial arrangement provided that it is properly written. If not, the agreement will be invalid. 

It is best to have a skilled family law attorney draft and/or review you prenuptial agreement to make sure it is enforceable in court. 

The following form is intended for illustrative purposes only. You and your attorney can use this sample as a guide in drafting a prenuptial agreement that best protects your interests and complies with the laws in effect where you live.

________________________________________, hereinafter referred to as Prospective Husband, and _______________________________________, hereinafter referred to as Prospective Wife, hereby agree on this _____ day of ________________, in the year ______, as follows:

  1. Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife contemplate marriage in the near future and wish to establish their respective rights and responsibilities regarding each other's income and property and the income and property that may be acquired, either separately or together, during the marriage.
  2. Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife have made a full and complete disclosure to each other of all of their financial assets and liabilities, as more fully set forth in the accompanying Financial Statements, attached hereto as Exhibits A and B.
  3. Except as otherwise provided below, Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife waive the following rights:
    1. To share in each other's estates upon their death.
    2. To spousal maintenance, both temporary and permanent.
    3. To share in the increase in value during the marriage of the separate property of the parties.
    4. To share in the pension, profit sharing, or other retirement accounts of the other.
    5. To the division of the separate property of the parties, whether currently held or hereafter acquired.
    6. To any claims based on the period of cohabitation of the parties.
  4. [SET FORTH RELEVANT EXCEPTIONS HERE.]
  5. [ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS HERE. These can range from prescribing that the children will be raised in a particular religion to allocating household chores between the parties.]
  6. Both Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife are represented by separate and independent legal counsel of their own choosing.
  7. Both Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife have separate income and assets to independently provide for their own respective financial needs.
  8. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and may be modified only in a writing executed by both Prospective Husband and Prospective Wife.
  9. In the event it is determined that a provision of this agreement is invalid because it is contrary to applicable law, that provision is deemed separable from the rest of the agreement, such that the remainder of the agreement remains valid and enforceable.
  10. This agreement is made in accordance with the laws of the state of _________________, and any dispute regarding its enforcement will be resolved by reference to the laws of that state.
  11. This agreement will take effect immediately upon the solemnization of the parties' marriage.

I HAVE READ THE ABOVE AGREEMENT, I HAVE TAKEN TIME TO CONSIDER ITS IMPLICATIONS, I FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS, I AGREE TO ITS TERMS, AND I VOLUNTARILY SUBMIT TO ITS EXECUTION.

_______________________________
Prospective Husband

______________________________
Prospective Wife

Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Marriage laws are changing constantly. If you have a question about prenuptial agreements in your state, you may wish to contact a family law attorney for assistance. A good lawyer can advise you about the laws and help you write a well-drafted premarital agreement. Plus it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced family law attorney.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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