There is a rising trend in Singapore for couples to do up prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Such agreements are even more popular when a person marries for the second time, as he or she is more likely to consider protecting assets or personal interests after being divorced in the past.
So, what is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement? Is it really necessary to draw up such agreements between couples as a form of insurance against the likelihood of a divorce?
This article will answer questions about what a prenuptial and postnuptial agreement is and address the benefits and disadvantages of having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between couples that is drawn up drawn up prior to marriage.
It spells out how matrimonial assets should be divided, whether spousal or children maintenance should be given, and who should have custody, care and control or access rights of the children during the couple’s marriage upon their separation or in the event of a divorce.
The terms of a prenuptial agreement may include:
Some say having a prenuptial agreement drawn up is problematic because it indicates that the person wanting the prenuptial agreement is already preparing for a broken marriage. Others feel it is crucial to be able to put your destiny in your own hands by deciding how things should be settled if the marriage does go wrong.
It is our view that prenuptial agreements can assist couples to achieve the following objectives:
Postnuptial agreements are entered into during the couples’ marriage, rather than before. Apart from this, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are similar – they are both used by couples to protect their assets or personal interests in the event of a separation or a divorce.
As such, the terms that you find in postnuptial agreements may be similar to the terms of prenuptial agreements.
Couples generally enter into a postnuptial agreement when the marriage is rocky, or where one party receives a large inheritance which he or she intends to ring-fence from their spouse in the event of a divorce.
It is our view that postnuptial agreements can assist couples to achieve the following objectives:
Before you draft your own prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, you should seek legal advice and ensure that the agreed terms between your partner or spouse do not contravene any express provision or legislative policy embodied within the Women’s Charter.
This is because the Family Justice Courts are entitled to scrutinise prenuptial agreements and may decline to uphold them if they contradict the requirements of the Women’s Charter.
In summary, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are more likely to be valid and enforceable if they are drafted by a divorce lawyer in accordance with the Women’s Charter.
We will be able to advise you on the types of provisions you should include in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement according to your situation.
Talk to our expert team of family & divorce lawyers today!