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A premarital agreement makes clear to those entering into marriage how their assets and properties, acquired either before or during marriage, ought to be distributed in case of divorce, legal separation or the death of one of the partners. This type of agreement is actually a contract that is aimed at protecting the financial interests and future of both spouses, in case the marriage does not work out and gets dissolved.

Though some engaged couples find the premarital or prenuptial agreement a means of taking away romance in their relationship and substituting it with mistrust, many others see it as a wise financial security, opening up more rooms that will make the couple more financially generous and open to one another.

The practice of entering into a premarital agreement takes it roots during the early 19th century, a time when women, who entered into marriage, was recognized only as an “extension” of her husband. Back then, there was a law called coverture which required a woman to relinquish her legal rights to her husband upon marriage. Due to this law married women lost their rights to get an education without her husband’s consent, transfer properties, sell or own anything or even receive salaries for work that they themselves rendered. If ever allowed by her husband to work, she ought to surrender to him everything she earns. Even in divorce, there was no guarantee that she will get anything of what she might have worked so hard for.

The cruel effects of the coverture law were eradicated by the Married Women’s Property Act which introduced and enforced the prenuptial agreement in 1848. It was this Act that gave back to married women all their rights, during and after marriage. Some of the real and actual advantages of the agreement are: preservation of inheritance and family ties; security over both business and personal properties made before marriage; and, assured protection of the financial security of the children.

Premarital agreements also allow for swift court decision on division of properties during a divorce case, saving the couple from the headache, worry, money and time that lengthy discussions will require. Financial experts advise engaged couples, though, who will decide to enter into a premarital agreement, to discuss the issue honestly, openly and candidly, so as not to make it sound and appear hurting or insulting to anyone.

One Comment

  1. Law is always so puzzling to me, thanks for making sense of it.

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