What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is an agreement that is entered into by a prospective bride and groom before marriage and contains terms governing the division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or death. In addition to the three, basic requirements for having a valid, enforceable contract (offer, acceptance and consideration), one must satisfy additional requirements to have a valid, enforceable prenuptial agreement.

Of those additional requirements, the following two are most relevant to our discussion: (1) advice of counsel; and (2) full and complete financial disclosures. Of course, these two requirements are rarely ever present when the Muslim Marriage Contract is signed because the bride and groom are typically getting married for the first time, are generally young and generally do not have any assets that warrant protection.

It is important to note that prenuptial agreements are a product of the past thirty years. Up until the 1970s, many jurisdictions considered prenuptial agreements invalid as against public policy. Only in the past two decades have prenuptial agreements evolved to become enforceable instruments in estate planning and divorce planning.


One response to “What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

  1. Pingback: Zawahiri v. Alwattar: Is a Muslim Marriage Contract a prenup or a simple contract? | SHARIA INDEX

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