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What is a prenuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2019 | Firm News |

The sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. It is a perfect day to get married. The stress of planning the wedding is over, and now the fun begins.

But before the marriage begins, part of the stress may have included the decision of whether to write up a prenuptial agreement, or prenup for short. Many couples sign one to protect their assets if there is ever a divorce. Others hope to provide loved ones a stable future if they were to die.

Definition of a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a signed contract regarding the division of property, assets or debts of the couple entering marriage. It is enforceable by law unless there a reason for it to be invalid or void.

In Mississippi, prenuptial agreements may address:

  • Rights to property owned before or during the marriage
  • How to divide assets when there is a divorce or death
  • Alimony
  • Debt division
  • Ensuring a child or children from a previous relationship receives property or assets

Some agreements mistakenly involve child support or custody arrangements. However, Mississippi will not uphold these. The spouses must decide custody and support once they separate or during the divorce proceedings. A judge will make the final decision based on the child’s best interest.

Prenuptial agreements which are not valid

Although a prenup is a legal contract, there may be grounds for invalidation during divorce proceedings. An invalid contract may include the following:

  • There is no written agreement. The prenup must be in writing to be enforceable.
  • A spouse signed the agreement under duress.
  • The agreement is unconscionable or extremely unfair.
  • The couple signs the document after the marriage takes place.
  • There is false information such as not disclosing all assets or debts.

A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement except that the spouses sign it after the marriage. This type of arrangement is often limited to certain specific items.