It is also called an ante nuptial agreement, a written contract between two people who are about to marry, setting out the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of the property of each, and potential division if the marriage is later dissolved. 

Fairly common
These agreements are fairly common if either or both parties have substantial assets, children from a prior marriage, potential inheritances, high incomes, or have been "taken" by a previous spouse.

Content can be vary
Content can be vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage

UK law
Pre nuptial agreements have not traditionally been enforced in divorce law in England. A divorce lawyer is often asked about the possibility of making a prenuptial agreement before entering into a marriage.

The normal reason for asking is that at least one of the parties to the intended marriage wishes to preserve previously acquired assets from the jurisdiction of the divorce courts. 

Unfortunately, the answer in almost all cases is that the jurisdiction of the divorce courts cannot be ousted in this way and that a pre-nuptial agreement is hardly worth the paper it is written on.

Why it is not the worth in English law
In order to understand why this is so one has to realise that the tradition of the English divorce courts is to look at all the assets of the marriage at the time of the divorce and to distribute and in whatever way they see fit and accordance with the perceived needs of the parties and of any children. This is done in accordance with certain principles laid down by statute and case law but nevertheless this is the basic outlook of English divorce law when it comes to regulating financial matters between the parties. 
Making a prenup can:
• protect separate property
• support  estate plan
• define what property is considered marital or community property
• reduce conflicts and save money if one divorce
• clarify special agreements between one, and
• establish procedures and ground rules for deciding future matters

Sunset" clause
It often has what is called a "sunset" clause. This usually means that that it becomes invalid after a certain specified time period, or after the married couple has had a child. Sunset clauses vary from state to state. If the sunset clause is ignored, the agreement is void. Some couples then construct a postnuptial agreement to change the terms of their marital agreement
It must meet these requirements to be binding.
• They must be written
• The signing of the agreement must be voluntary on behalf of both parties,
• It can be invalid if one partner fails to disclose something important, and marries under false pretenses.
• The agreement cannot be morally or ethically unconscionable.

Pre nup definition
Sun clause



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    January 2013