Pre-Marital Agreement Law and Legal Definition

What is a Premarital Agreement?

A premarital agreement is a written contract created by two people planning to be married. The agreement typically lists all of the property each person owns, as well as their debts, and it specifies what each person's property rights will be after they tie the knot. Premarital agreements often specify how property will be divided -- and whether spousal support (alimony) will be paid -- in the event of a divorce.

Must a premarital agreement be in writing?

Yes, A premarital agreement shall be in writing and signed by both parties. Such agreement shall be enforceable without consideration and shall become effective upon marriage.

May I amend the agreement after marriage?

After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement or the revocation is enforceable without consideration.

What are the advantages of having a premarital agreement?

Advantages of premarital agreements for both parties are:

  1. Avoiding Litigation Costs,
  2. Protecting Family Assets,
  3. Protecting Business Assets,
  4. Protection Against Creditors,
  5. Child Custody and Support Guidelines and
  6. Predetermined Disposition of Property

The following is an example of the State statute (Pennsylvania) defining premarital agreement.

23 Pa.C.S. § 3106 states that the term "premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.