In the United States a premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement, is an agreement made between each spouse before marriage. While most property and assets acquired before marriage are protected by such agreement in divorce, it may or may not affect assets acquired during marriage.
Prenuptial agreements give respect to property involved as well as obligations and rights of each spouse. An example would include a house owned by one spouse before marriage. A prenuptial agreement may have a provision that states the owner would only be responsible for costs related to the property. It may even protect the right to perform transactions related to the property such as the owner having exclusive rights to sell or lease the property.
If a marriage ends in separation, death or another event, a prenuptial agreement may outline information related to disposition of property. Such an agreement may outline what jurisdiction legal preceding may take place, how children will be raised and where the couple will reside. On the other hand, there are certain issues a prenuptial agreement may not protect.
Issues related to spousal support may vary depending on the state law the divorce takes place in. While both parties have a right to waive spousal support, certain provisions may or may not be affected in court. If child support is an issue during divorce, the issue will be determined by the court and cannot be determined by a prenuptial agreement.
If a prenuptial agreement becomes an issue upon divorce, the court may rule based on fairness and disclosure. The agreement should be a voluntary action between both spouses. If not, it is possible property may not be protected under the agreement. Questions or concerns can be discussed with a divorce attorney.