What is a prenuptial or a premarital agreement? A prenuptial agreement is the same as a premarital agreement. The purpose of a premarital agreement is to determine, prior to marriage, what each spouse wishes to maintain as non-marital property in case of death, disability or divorce. A premarital agreement is founded upon contract principles. If a husband or wife each have children from a prior relationship, such agreement can determine to whom a deceased spouse’s assets may be distributed to make certain the deceased party’s children are not deprived of what the deceased parent desired to leave each child. The disposition of each person’s property can be predetermined. The courts favor premarital agreements and having a premarital agreement in place can ultimately reduce litigation costs and stresses should the marriage terminate. A premarital agreement requires careful planning as well as full disclosure of each party’s assets and liabilities. The agreement should not be signed absent a full understanding by both parties of all of their legal rights as well as the effect the agreement will have upon those rights. These agreements must be signed without fraud and duress and must be executed within a reasonable time prior to the marriage taking place. Contact Joshua I. Tourkow with any questions you may have.