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81,376 couples drafted prenuptial agreements last year

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Prenup Example and DIY Prenups

On this page we outline the typical content of a professionally drafted prenuptial agreement - as a useful reference in case you are looking for a prenup example. We also briefly cover the legal status of DIY Prenups ('do-it-yourself' prenups), which involve creating the prenuptial agreement independently using a template, without seeking the help of a prenup lawyer or legal professional.

Prenup Example - What Should A Prenup Include?

Many prenuptial agreement templates and prenup examples are available online, for example, at RocketLawyer.com. These prenup examples and templates are often a good starting point for understanding the typical content of a prenuptial agreement. However, it is important to note that prenuptial agreements should be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individuals involved. Laws can also vary over time regarding the specific requirements and enforceability of prenuptial agreements. Therefore, we recommend using a professional lawyer or service rather than using an online template as the basis for a "do it yourself" (DIY) prenup (see the "Do It Yourself Prenups" section below).

As a rough guide, a prenuptial agreement could include the following sections:

  • Introductory Information: Date of the agreement, full legal names and addresses of both parties, date and location of the marriage or civil partnership.
  • Statement of Intent: Both parties acknowledge their intent to enter into a prenuptial agreement to establish their financial rights and obligations during the marriage and in the event of separation or divorce.
  • Financial Disclosure: A full and accurate disclosure of respective assets, debts, income, and financial obligations for both parties. In a simple agreement this could be a list of bank account numbers and balances.
  • Asset Division: Specify how assets, including property, investments, savings, and personal belongings, will be divided in case of separation or divorce. Consider factors such as contributions made by each party, pre-existing assets, and any other relevant considerations.
  • Spousal Maintenance: Determine whether any spousal maintenance (financial support) will be provided and under what circumstances. Clearly outline the amount, duration, and conditions for spousal maintenance, if applicable.
  • Inheritance and Wills: Address how inheritance or bequests received by either party will be treated and whether they will be considered part of the joint assets or separate property. Consider whether each party will be required to update their wills to reflect the terms of the prenuptial agreement.
  • Child Custody and Support: Acknowledge that child custody and support matters are subject to the best interests of the child and may be determined separately from the prenuptial agreement. Specify that the agreement does not override the court's jurisdiction to make decisions regarding children.
  • Review Clauses and Amendment: Include a provision allowing for the review and amendment of the prenuptial agreement in the future, if desired. Specify the process for reviewing and modifying the agreement, such as requiring written consent from both parties. A simple arrangement could be to review the prenuptial agreement every 5 years.
  • Governing Law and Jurisdiction: Specify the laws that the prenuptial agreement is governed by and interpreted in accordance with. Indicate the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where any disputes arising from the agreement will be resolved.
  • Independent Legal Advice: Include a clause stating that both parties have obtained independent legal advice or have been given the opportunity to seek legal advice before signing the agreement. Specify the names of the legal advisors involved.
  • Execution: Provide space for the signatures, printed names, and dates of both parties, as well as any witnesses present at the signing of the agreement. Remember, this is a basic outline, and the final agreement should be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individuals involved.

Do It Yourself Prenups (DIY Prenups)

A DIY prenup is one that is made without the involvement of a legal professional. Many prenuptial agreement templates are available online for DIY prenups, for example, at RocketLawyer.com.

Although DIY Prenups can show your intentions as a couple, they are unlikely to be treated as legally binding prenuptial agreements and enforced in a court. In February 2014, the Law Commission published "Consultation Paper 343: Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements", which included a statement that professional legal advice should be sought for a prenuptial agreement to be legally binding (in other words, it should be reviewed and ideally drafted by a legal professional). A legal professional will also ensure that the agreement fulfills other relevant legal requirements that are often missing from do it yourself prenup templates.

There have been several high profile divorce cases relating to do it yourself prenups, with the most infamous being the DIY prenup that Stephen Spielberg and his wife reportedly scribbled onto a napkin in a restaurant. The napkin prenup was subsequently ignored in court 4 years later and the final divorce settlement was reportedly in the region of $100 million.