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Everything To Know About a Prenuptial Agreement: How It Works, Cost, Pros & Cons

prenuptial agreement document

prenuptial agreement document

In the wake of the trending story between Moroccan footballer, Acraf Hakimi and his estranged wife, Hiba Abouk after she demanded 50 percent of his wealth, the word ‘Prenuptial Agreement’ has come to the fore.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a legal contract between two people who are planning to get married. The agreement outlines how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, separation, or death.

While prenuptial agreements are not common in Nigeria, they are considered valid.

How does a prenuptial agreement work?

1. Before the wedding

The couple discusses the terms of the prenuptial agreement and decides what they want to include. They should each have their own attorney to represent their interests and to make sure the agreement is fair and legally binding.

2. Creating the agreement

The attorneys draft the agreement and the couple reviews and signs it. The agreement becomes legally binding once it’s signed by both parties.

3. During the marriage

If the couple decides to divorce or separate, the terms of the agreement will be enforced. This can help avoid lengthy and costly legal battles over property and assets.

What can be included in a prenuptial agreement?

It can cover a range of topics, including:

  • Division of property and assets
  • Division of debts and liabilities
  • Alimony or spousal support
  • Inheritance rights
  • Business ownership and assets
  • Retirement benefits

It’s important to note that child custody and child support cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. These issues are always determined by the court based on the best interests of the child.

Who needs a prenuptial agreement?

Not everyone needs a prenup, but it can be particularly important for the following groups:

  • Individuals with significant assets or property

If one or both parties have significant assets or property that they want to protect, it can ensure that those assets remain separate in the event of a divorce.

  • Business owners

If one or both parties own a business, a prenup can protect the business from being divided or sold in the event of a divorce.

  • Individuals with children from a previous relationship

A prenuptial agreement can help ensure that children from a previous relationship are provided for and that assets are protected for their future.

  • Couples with differing financial situations

If one party has significantly more assets or income than the other, a prenuptial agreement can provide financial security for both parties.

How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?

The cost of a prenuptial agreement can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the agreement, the geographic location, and the attorney’s fees.

It’s important to note that the cost of a prenuptial agreement should not be a deterrent. Given the potential financial and emotional benefits, the cost may be worth it in the long run.

Pros And Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement

Pros

1. Protecting separate assets

A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the assets that each party brings into the marriage remain separate in the event of a divorce. This can be particularly important for individuals with significant assets or businesses they want to protect.

2. Clarifying financial expectations

A prenup can help couples communicate their financial expectations and obligations to each other before marriage, potentially preventing misunderstandings and conflicts down the road.

3. Avoiding lengthy and costly legal battles

By outlining how assets will be divided in advance, a prenup can prevent lengthy and costly legal battles in the event of a divorce.

4. Providing  financial security

A prenup can provide financial security for one or both parties, especially if one party has significantly more assets or income than the other.

Cons

1. Cost

The cost of a prenup can be expensive, especially if both parties hire separate lawyers to negotiate and review the terms of the agreement.

2. Negative implications

Some people may view a prenup as a sign that one or both parties do not have faith in the marriage, which can cause tension and conflict.

3. Not always enforceable

Prenups may not be enforceable if they are found to be unfair or if one party signed under duress.

Overall, a prenuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and protect both parties interests in the event of a divorce. However, it’s important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that the agreement is fair and legally binding.