What Makes a Valid Prenuptial Agreement in Delaware?
Some decades ago, prenuptial agreements were surrounded by negativity as people believed that the idea would negatively influence marriages. Times have changed, and more individuals and states now embrace the importance of signing prenups before marriage.
Prenups increase trust among couples and eliminate litigation and lengthy court battles during a divorce. Each state has different laws governing prenuptial agreement, and this page explains Delaware's prenuptial agreement requirements.
What is Delaware Prenuptial Agreement?
In Delaware, a prenuptial agreement is also known as a premarital agreement. Generally, this is a contract between prospective spouses who wish to predetermine financial terms and anything related to property division, alimony, and insurance benefits.
Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Delaware?
Prenups are not only for the wealthy. It is advisable for any couple contemplating marriage to sign a prenup to secure their financial future.
Delaware is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that it is hard to predict how property and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. The standard requirement is to divide the property equitably and not 50/50. Therefore, signing a prenuptial agreement allows you to predict and decide how you want your marital property division to be carried out.
A prenuptial agreement also helps you protect your children's inheritance if you have some from your previous relationship. If your partner brings significant debts to the marriage, a prenup protects you from having to pay for them unwillingly.
Furthermore, in Delaware, a prenuptial agreement can be established for a finite time to assure couples that their marriage is secure. With this, people don't have to feel like a prenup creates mistrust.
Couples that get married without signing a prenup can still predetermine property division and support obligations by signing a postnuptial agreement. The contract works the same as the premarital agreement. But in this case, it is signed when the couple is already married.
How Can You Ensure Your Prenup is Valid in Delaware?
Delaware is among the states that have approved the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act to govern the enforceability of prenuptial agreements. The act requires prenuptial contracts in writing and signed by both spouses to be enforceable. The prenups are signed before marriage but only take effect upon marriage. Other requirements for a valid prenuptial agreement are:
- The couple should sign the prenuptial agreement willingly
- The prenup should be conscionable, meaning that it should be done out of consent
- Both parties should give reasonable disclosure of their assets and debts
- The couple had a chance to seek legal counsel and guidance before signing the prenup
Any prenup that violates any of the requirements will be deemed invalid. The judge would deny enforcement of the prenup if one of the spouses were physically or psychologically threatened to sign the prenup. Similarly, the prenuptial agreement enforcement will be denied if the agreement only favors one party's interests or either of the spouses refuses to disclose their financial situation and debts.
What Does a Delaware Prenuptial Agreement Cover?
Couples can include anything finance and property-related in the prenup, as long as it does not contradict the law. Moreover, the agreement should not touch on kids’ custody and support. Here are examples of things to include in your prenup:
- Division of premarital and marital properties
- Each party’s property rights and obligations
- Regulations on property purchases and sales
- Alimony or spousal support
- If gifts and inheritance should be included in marital property
- The eligibility to receive each other’s life insurance benefits in the event of death
Remember to seek help from a legal expert to avoid including anything that could jeopardize the chances of prenup enforceability.
Check out our website and download a free Delaware prenuptial agreement form today.