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What is the purpose of a Minnesota prenuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | Family Law |

According to MPR News, more than 33,000 weddings were planned in Minnesota in 2022. It’s not guaranteed that all of those weddings went according to plan, but 33,000 is a significant amount. Some of the couples probably signed prenuptial agreements before saying “I do.”

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document outlining the financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce. The document is signed before the couple gets married. The prenuptial agreement is like a contract between two married people. It helps to protect the individual and joint assets that the couple owns.

Voluntary action

No one is legally obligated to sign a prenuptial agreement. If one person is forced or tricked into signing, the agreement is invalid. Both people must willingly sign the prenuptial agreement for it to become valid.

Protection of assets

The main function of the agreement is to protect assets acquired before marriage. That means assets a person has before entering the marriage still belong to them when and if the marriage ends. Examples include businesses, personal belongings and real estate. Without a prenuptial agreement, these assets will possibly get split between the two spouses.

Spousal support

A prenuptial agreement can define the terms of alimony in case of a divorce. It’s possible to predetermine the amount of spousal support one or both spouses will receive and how long this support will be provided. Without a prenuptial agreement, the divorce court will settle this issue.

Customize to fit specific needs

The couple can include just about anything in a prenuptial agreement. For example, the agreement can state who will get the family pet in the event of divorce. However, child support and child custody issues are not allowed in a prenuptial agreement. Those issues remain in the hands of family law courts.

Some people find prenuptial agreements offensive and might object to being asked to sign. You might have to discuss some sensitive topics with your potential spouse before proceeding.