Couples are able to enter into marriage contracts before or during their marriage, provided that in the latter circumstance they are still cohabiting at the time of the execution of the agreement.
Parties to a marriage contract may regulate their respective legal rights and obligations during the marriage, on separation, annulment or dissolution of the marriage, or on death. A valid marriage contract that regulates the ownership and division of property takes priority over statutory equalization entitlements, and may also be deferred to when a court is determining support, though this varies based on court discretion. There are exceptions to what a marriage contract may cover, such as custody rights. It is important to understand exactly what a marriage contract has authority over and what it does not control in the matrimonial relationship. Our office can provide you with more details during a consultation.
People partaking in second marriages, who are wealthy, or who are more senior may be particularly interested in marriage contracts, but as with cohabitation agreements, the marriage contract may be useful to any person that would like more predictability, clear expectations, and security of personal assets in a marriage relationship.
It is important that marriage contracts be drafted within the parameters of the law in order to meet the expectations of the parties and be enforceable. Our office can assist you in forming such agreements pursuant to the relevant law.