Can A Prenup Include Future Assets

At some point, couples may consider getting married, and with that comes the question of whether they should sign a prenuptial agreement. A prenup, also known as a premarital agreement or antenuptial agreement, is a legal document that outlines how assets will be divided in the event of divorce or death.

While prenups were once associated with the wealthy, they are becoming more common among all income levels. Prenups can provide peace of mind, clarify financial expectations, and protect future assets. In this article, we’ll explain what a prenup is, how it works, and why it may be worth considering.

Related: Can A Prenup Protect You From Spouses Debt

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two individuals who are planning to get married. The agreement outlines how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or death. It can cover a range of financial matters, such as property, debts, income, retirement accounts, and business interests. The terms of the agreement are typically negotiated and agreed upon before the wedding.

A prenup can be tailored to each couple’s unique situation, taking into account their assets, liabilities, and goals. The agreement can also include provisions for spousal support (alimony) and other matters related to the marriage. However, it cannot address issues such as child custody or child support, as those matters are determined by state law.

How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Work?

To create a valid prenuptial agreement, both parties must voluntarily and knowingly agree to its terms. Each party should also have their own legal representation to ensure that their interests are protected. The agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties before the wedding.

If a couple divorces or one spouse dies, the prenuptial agreement will come into effect. The agreement can determine how property and assets will be divided, and whether one spouse will receive spousal support. It can also protect assets that were acquired before the marriage, such as a family business or inheritance.

However, a prenup may not be enforceable if it was signed under duress, if one party did not disclose all assets or debts, or if it violates state law or public policy. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to create a prenuptial agreement that is legally sound and tailored to your specific situation.


Why Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are several reasons why couples may choose to sign a prenuptial agreement:

  1. Protecting future assets: A prenup can ensure that each spouse’s assets are protected in the event of divorce or death. This can be particularly important if one spouse has significant assets or a family business that they want to pass down to their children.
  2. Clarifying financial expectations: A prenup can outline how finances will be managed during the marriage, including how income, expenses, and debts will be shared. This can help reduce conflict and ensure that both parties are on the same page about financial matters.
  3. Avoiding lengthy court battles: In the event of a divorce, a prenup can help expedite the process and avoid lengthy court battles over property division and spousal support.
  4. Providing peace of mind: Knowing that their assets are protected can provide peace of mind for both spouses, particularly if one has been through a divorce before or has significant wealth.

Prenuptial Agreement Pros and Cons

Pros of Prenuptial Agreements

  1. Protection of individual assets: A prenuptial agreement can protect each person’s separate property, ensuring that assets acquired before the marriage remain under their control in the event of a divorce.
  2. Simplification of the divorce process: By having a prenuptial agreement in place, couples can save time, money, and stress during a divorce since the division of assets and debts has already been agreed upon.
  3. Protection from debts: Prenuptial agreements can protect one spouse from being held responsible for the other’s debts in case of a divorce.
  4. Clarification of financial rights and responsibilities: The agreement can clearly define the financial responsibilities of each party during the marriage, making it easier to manage joint finances.
  5. Ensuring family property stays within the family: Prenuptial agreements can help protect family heirlooms or businesses, ensuring they remain within the family in the event of a divorce.

Cons of Prenuptial Agreements

  1. Perceived lack of trust: Some people view prenuptial agreements as a sign that one or both partners lack trust in the relationship, which may cause emotional strain.
  2. Difficulty predicting future circumstances: It is difficult to predict how a couple’s financial situation will change over time. A prenuptial agreement may not adequately account for future changes in income, assets, or debts.
  3. Possibility of unfair terms: If one party has significantly more resources or a better understanding of the legal process, they may draft an agreement that unfairly benefits them at the expense of the other spouse.
  4. Limitations on child support and custody: Prenuptial agreements cannot dictate child support or custody arrangements, as these decisions are made by the courts based on the best interests of the child.
  5. Legal challenges: A poorly drafted prenuptial agreement can be challenged in court, leading to additional legal fees and potentially invalidating the entire agreement.

Prenuptial Agreement Checklist

  1. Identification of separate property:
  • List all assets owned individually by each party before the marriage, including real estate, personal property, bank accounts, investments, and business interests.
  • Specify that these assets will remain separate property in the event of a divorce.
  1. Identification of joint property:
  • Determine how assets acquired during the marriage will be classified and divided.
  • Specify how marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce, including percentages or formulas for division.
  1. Debts and liabilities:
  • List all debts and liabilities held by each party before the marriage.
  • Specify how these debts will be handled during the marriage and in the event of a divorce.
  • Determine how debts acquired during the marriage will be divided.
  1. Income and earnings:
  • Disclose each party’s current income, including salary, bonuses, and any other sources of income.
  • Specify how income earned during the marriage will be treated, either as separate or marital property.
  1. Retirement accounts and benefits:
  • Identify all retirement accounts and pensions owned by each party.
  • Determine how contributions made during the marriage will be treated and how these assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.
  1. Alimony or spousal support:
  • Specify whether either party will be entitled to alimony or spousal support in the event of a divorce.
  • If so, outline the terms, duration, and amount of such support.
  1. Tax considerations:
  • Address any tax-related issues, such as filing status and deductions, that may arise during the marriage or in the event of a divorce.
  1. Financial responsibilities during the marriage:
  • Define each party’s financial responsibilities during the marriage, such as who will pay the bills, contribute to savings, and handle investments.
  1. Estate planning considerations:
  • Address any estate planning issues, such as the creation of wills, trusts, or other arrangements, to ensure consistency with the prenuptial agreement.
  1. Amendments and termination:
  • Specify the process for amending or terminating the prenuptial agreement, including any required written notice or signatures.
  1. Disclosure of financial information:
  • Ensure that both parties have fully disclosed all relevant financial information, including assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.
  • Attach financial statements or other documentation as necessary.
  1. Legal representation and advice:
  • Confirm that both parties have had the opportunity to seek independent legal advice before signing the prenuptial agreement.


In conclusion, a prenuptial agreement can provide many benefits for couples who are planning to get married. It can protect future assets, clarify financial expectations, avoid court battles, and provide peace of mind. However, it is important to work with an experienced

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