A prenuptial agreement is a contract between prospective spouses intending to marry. The provisions of a prenuptial agreement establish, in advance, the rights of each party with respect to alimony, property rights and other financial responsibilities in the event of divorce or separation, or the death of a spouse.
The construction, validity and enforceability of prenuptial agreements are governed by case law in Maryland, and not by statute. The courts have established standards regarding the an agreement’s validity and enforceability, including the following:
- Both parties must have legal capacity to contract;
- There must be consideration – the marriage itself satisfies this element;
- The premarital agreement must be executed by the parties voluntarily, free of fraud or duress;
- The premarital agreement cannot be unconscionable; and
- Each party should provide full, frank and truthful disclosure of assets and value before the agreement is signed.
In addition to these elements, each party should be represented by an independent attorney to help vitiate future claims of lack of voluntariness.
You may wish to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement if you have been previously married, have children, or wish to protect certain assets such as business interests.
To discuss how a prenuptial agreement can protect your interests, contact one of our attorneys at (240) 386-8705 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation. The Law Firm of Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP provides legal services to residents in Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland including Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Prince George's County.