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Premarital/Postnuptial Agreement

There are two types of martial agreements: a prenuptial agreement and a postnuptial agreement. Both of these types of written contracts set out the rules that will cover property rights if the marriage ends.

A prenuptial agreement is entered into before marriage and it protects each person's interest in his or her own property and defines each person's rights to the property of the other person if they divorce or one of them dies. You may be considering a prenuptial agreement if you are about to enter into marriage.

Post marital (also known as postnuptial) agreements are utilized and prepared after the parties have already married but before they have separated. It operates in a similar way to a pre nuptial agreement. In order to set forth in writing the understanding and agreements of the parties with respect to separate property or even community property interests after the parties have married, parties enter into such agreements. These agreements may also act as a preliminary division of community property to be implemented during the marriage but before the parties actually decide to separate or proceed towards divorce.

The agreement must be "fair and reasonable". There are three basic rules that should be followed to safeguard your agreement:
1. Full and fair disclosure,
2. Separate and independent counsel, and
3. Ample lead-time before the wedding.

Although prenuptial/ postnuptial agreements can be binding on issues of division of property and alimony, they are not binding on issues of child custody or on child support.


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