A premarital agreement is a contract between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. Historically courts refused to enforce premarital agreements at divorce, believing that such contracts made divorce too easy. That began to change in the early 1970s until every state, by statute or...
A premarital agreement is a contract between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. Historically courts refused to enforce premarital agreements at divorce, believing that such contracts made divorce too easy. That began to change in the early 1970s until every state, by statute or case law, permitted prospective spouses to predetermine in a premarital agreement their rights to property at divorce and, in the majority of states, to fix or waive the right to support. At the same time, courts and legislatures began to struggle with the proper standards for validity. Should the focus be solely on the fairness of the process or should courts also play a role in determining substantive fairness? If the latter, should fairness be judged as of execution or enforcement? And should the standard of fairness be unconscionably or mere unfairness?
Premarital Agreements, Second Edition is an updated clearly written primer that focuses on the fundamentals involved in negotiating and drafting these agreements, explaining the most critical aspects involved in creating a premarital agreement:
- General validity and criteria for an enforceable post-marital (or marital agreement
- The role of the lawyer in creating the agreement, various ethical components of an agreement and the practical techniques of negotiating the terms of the agreement
- Post-execution issues
- Text of a model agreement and drafting techniques to carry out the objectives of the parties. To assist the drafter, various options are given that allow the premarital agreement to be tailored to the client's specific needs.
The Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws) approved the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act (UPAA) in 1983. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia enacted it, although some made significant changes. The ULC adopted the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPMAA) in 2012. To date, only two states (Colorado and North Dakota) have adopted it.